A message from the Midwest High Speed Rail Association in Chicago

September 30, 2015

A message from Chicago’s Midwest High Speed Rail Association regarding the now-abandoned Chicago Post Office.

If you are traveling across the Midwest there is a good chance you will end up passing through Chicago’s Union Station. The station is the third busiest railroad terminal in the country and serves 31.6 million passengers each year.Website Insert Keep Your Money In-State copy

Above the tracks heading into Chicago’s Union Station is an old post office building that has sat vacant for 19 years. The current owner Bill Davies bought the property in 2009 for $24 million.  He has proposed an ambitious redevelopment of the area, which would include a 120-story tower nearby.

In the meantime, he has neglected the building.  For example, the ventilation shafts that remove the diesel exhaust from the station went unfixed until Senator Durbin applied public pressure.
Several deals to lease or sell the building have fallen through.  Just last week, Crain’s Chicago Business called on Mayor Emanuel to get involved.

Zoning Committee Chairman Alderman Daniel Solis has introduced an ordinance that would strip the site of special zoning rights awarded three years ago and return it to a downtown service district.

The Old Post Office’s location creates a fantastic opportunity for railroad related development.  In fact, the Midwest High Speed Rail Association has proposed using it to expand Union Station.  Unfortunately, in its current state it could become a threat to Amtrak and Metra service.

We are glad that Alderman Solis is working to pressure Davies to do something with the building.

To learn more about the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, click here.


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