Thursday, May 25, 2017

Amtrak Board designates Chicago Union Station Master Developer

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A rendering showing the aerial view from the west of the Chicago Union Station design. A rendering showing the aerial view from the west of the Chicago Union Station design.

Amtrak designated a team lead by Riverside Investment & Development Co. as the Master Developer for commercial elements of Chicago Union Station (CUS) and neighboring Amtrak-owned properties.

Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman made the announcement this morning at CUS with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, other stakeholders and civic leaders.

The initial conceptual design proposed by Riverside, in conjunction with co-developer and co-venture partner Convexity Properties – a DRW Company, includes three phases projected to be complete in about six years. Key project priorities include improved street entrances and pedestrian traffic flow entering and leaving Union Station, as well as improved pedestrian-friendly landscaping and open spaces. The proposed commercial development will total approximately 3.1 million square feet at full build-out.

Phase one for the project includes Union Station Headhouse and Concourse improvements including 110,000 square feet of new and reconfigured retail with a new food hall, street-level retail spaces and complete renovation of the Headhouse and Great Hall. Improvements also contain 100,000 square feet of office space and a new proposed hotel above the Great Hall, as well as two new 12-story residential towers above the Headhouse.

Phase two converts what is currently a parking garage into two new 750,000 square foot office towers with ground floor retail and approximately 800 parking spaces. Phase two will also incorporates ample publicly-accessible green spaces including terraces and plazas, including above the current Union Station Transit Center.

The final phase, involves a plaza and tower on the Southeast corner of Jackson and Canal that will include approximately 500,000 square foot retail and residential tower developed over active rail lines with open space and plazas at street level.

"This building was envisioned by Daniel Burnham in the 1909 Plan for Chicago as the city's primary rail station. It is in that spirit, we have big plans for both this Headhouse building and nearby properties owned by Amtrak," said Moorman. "We have initiated real estate developments such as this to create revenue streams to invest in our core business, to improve facilities, to provide amenities to all users of the station – and to attract new ones. We are certain we will do that here in Chicago."

The board also approved finalizing financial negotiations with this developer by the end of the year.