Oprah Winfrey has agreed to sell Harpo Studios to Chicago-based developer, Sterling Bay, for $32 million, after a bidding that involved investors from as far away as China.
According to reports, the studio has entered into a purchasing agreement with the company and the transaction is expected to close over the next few weeks. However, the four-building studio, which Winfrey used to film her show from 1990 to 2011, will be leased back for another two years. The Harpo campus, which includes more than 170,000 square feet of office space and production facilities, employs more than 200 people.
“We have entered into a purchasing agreement with Sterling Bay for the four-building Harpo Studios campus in Chicago's West Loop,” a spokeswoman for Harpo Studios told Crain’s Chicago Business in a statement Sunday. “We expect the transaction to be closed in 30 days. The property will be leased back to Harpo for two years and the studio will continue to produce programming for OWN.”
The popular talk-show host is also planning to sell her 9,625-square-foot condominium in Water Tower Place in Chicago for $7.75 million.
Winfrey first moved to Chicago in 1984 for "A.M. Chicago," a morning talk show aired by WLS-TV. It became one of the most popular shows in a month after going on air and was renamed as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1985.
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She moved her daytime television show to Harpo Studios in 1990, but ended the talk show in May 2011. She currently owns the Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, which she launched in January 2011.
Richard Daley, former mayor of Chicago, named the street outside Harpo Studios "Oprah Winfrey Way" in 2011.