Chicago selects developer for $1B Union Station overhaul
- Chicago officials announced the winning developer Thursday for a six-year, $1 billion revamp and addition to the city's Union Station, according to the Chicago Tribune.
- Riverside Investment & Development will first add 110,000 square feet of retail and food space, 100,000 square feet of offices and a 350-room hotel to the existing building, on top of which it will build two, 12-story residential high-rises. The second and third phases include two office towers — each a minimum of 750,000 square feet — constructed over new retail and parking, transit center-topped plazas and a new 500,000-square-foot retail and residential tower.
- The project, which will begin in mid-2018, is expected to generate 7,500 construction jobs and 7,000 to 8,000 permanent positions.
This is the first in a series of planned Amtrak station renovations around the country. Other projects will see overhauls of the rail company's facilities in cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Transit hub construction — including traditional rail as well as light-rail stations — is popping up across the U.S., with cities hoping the revamped facilities will spur development and convert the old-time train station into a destination itself.
The Union Station project is one of several major Chicago construction projects either underway or set to begin soon, keeping pace with demand as major companies move to the Midwest locale in search of an educated workforce and less expensive costs of doing business.
One of those projects is Blackstone Group's big move into the city's redevelopment game with a Gensler-designed, $500 million planned renovation to the iconic Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. This biggest office investment ever for Blackstone will include an overhaul of the Skydeck Chicago tourist attraction, new commercial space, a fitness center and event facilities, in addition to a new 30,000-square-foot deck and garden.
Related Midwest is also pushing forward with a Chicago mixed-use development on a 62-acre site that used to serve as a railyard but then turned into a de facto homeless camp after it was abandoned. The 20-year project will see the addition of residential, office, hotel and retail space, as well as a boardwalk and other public spaces. The development is expected to cost at least $5 billion.
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