Bally’s Corporation, which recently won the license to build a casino in the city of Chicago, is kicking the Chicago Tribune out of its longtime press room and printing plant location in the Freedom Center, a 30-acre site on which it will build its new casino complex.
Bally’s bought the Freedom Center site in November from Nexstar Media for $200 million, and quickly executed a sale-leaseback deal with a real estate investment trust to raise up to $500 million for the casino project.
A clause in the sale agreement provided that Bally’s could order the printing plant, which has also housed the Tribune newsroom since 2021, to relocate. It does provide that Bally’s will assist in finding a suitable location to which the plant can move.
In addition to the Tribune, the Freedom Center prints the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers.
Tribune Publishing and Bally’s are currently in arbitration concerning a rate for a 10-year lease extension, which is now moot, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim said in an interview with the Tribune. “Even with the extension option, there’s a clause in the lease that allows for us to relocate,” Kim said. “And so we started the process of engaging that clause.”
Tribune Publishing will have up to two years to relocate from the site, which is in Chicago’s River West district.