Oprah Winfrey, who built the famous production studio Harpo, may be getting out of the landlord business as she has reportedly enlisted the services of a real estate company to evaluate options, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Eastdil Secured LLC, a 40-plus-year-old pre-eminent real estate investment company, has reportedly been hired by Harpo Inc. to weigh various options, including a possible sale or the leasing of a portion of the sprawling four building campus, in order to consolidate operations into one or two structures.
Oprah purchased the 88,000-square-foot complex back in 1988, even though it was located in a then-blighted and desolate community. Since then, the entrepreneurial millionairess has expanded the campus to more than 170,000 square feet of studios and office space combined.
The once-skid-row neighborhood where the studio stands is now a thriving hub with restaurants, chic loft office spaces, boutique hotels, and even Google Inc. has set up shop in the area. Thanks to Harpo, the near West side area’s real estate values have skyrocketed, according to property experts.
When Oprah’s talk show faded in to black two years ago, Harpo studio operations cut back as well, although its employees still use a few of the buildings to produce content for her OWN network productions.
Besides the contemplation of a sale or leasing off of Harpo properties, Oprah is also reportedly planning to unload her Chicago home to move into a smaller residence, an unnamed source told Chicago Real Estate Daily.
Harpo studios will be actively marketed starting in about two weeks a source told the Chicago Sun-Times.