Amtrak shifts Chicago Union Station rehab onto fast track

May 25, 2016

By Greg Hinz, Crain’s Chicago Business

A long-dreamed-of effort to renovate historic Union Station and use it as a cash cow for owner Amtrak shifted onto a fast track today as Amtrak announced it’s formally seeking a master developer for the Near West Side complex.Website Insert Call Me State DOTs copy

The lure: The renovation of up to 1.3 million square feet of building and the construction of as much as 3 million square feet of office space on station air rights, all leveraged by the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars in low-interest federal loans.

The payoff: Selection of a developer as soon as this fall, a step that would allow work to actually begin.

“Bringing in private equity through a master developer can best achieve the desired outcome that optimizes Chicago Union Station as an asset that serves more than 33 million travelers per year,” Amtrak Executive Vice President Stephen Gardner said in a statement.

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