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Sources close to Oprah Winfrey say the media mogul is looking to sell all or part of the property that houses her Harpo Studio production company in Chicago. Winfrey has reportedly hired a real estate firm to assess her options, according to a company spokeswoman.
Winfrey is looking to sell or refinance Harpo now that she is no longer based in Chicago. After ending her daytime talk show on the West Side Chicago campus, Winfrey began building her OWN network, which is based in Los Angeles.
Harpo Studio spokeswoman Nicole Nichols confirmed late Tuesday that Winfrey has hired Eastdil Secured real estate company to evaluate a potential sale.
Among the options Winfrey is considering include selling some of the four buildings on the campus, leasing the space, refinancing the loan, or conducting a sale and lease-back transaction.
Winfrey began producing her talk show at Harpo Studios in 1988. When Winfrey bought the property, the troubled neighborhood wasn’t nearly as successful as it is now. If she does sell Harpo, Winfrey is poised to make much more from the property than she and her investors initially paid. According to some real estate investors who know the area well, Winfrey is making a shrewd business decision by selling Harpo now.
Most of Winfrey’s energy is being put into OWN and independent projects like “The Butler”. OWN was struggling out of the gate but finally turned a profit last quarter. Oprah Winfrey recently revealed that she had to back away from OWN for awhile because she felt that she was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.