New Retail Slated for CTA

Monday, Apr 4, 2011  |  Updated 12:33 PM CDT
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New Retail Slated for CTA

Charlie Wojciechowski

Soon, CTA stations could have more retail options thanks to a change in CTA ordinance that allows for a streamlined leasing process.

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The Chicago Transit Authority wants to give you more than just a ride.

They would also like to offer expanded shopping options in their stations, the Chicago Tribune reports. And thanks to a new rule, they can scout businesses more easily.

More than 60 retail and concession spaces located inside CTA stations have no tenants to run them, meaning a loss of revenue for the transit organization.

But officials are beginning a new campaign to push for more retail -- from national chains to local coffee purveyors -- under an existing leasing agreement with Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate services provider based in Chicago.

A change in CTA ordinance, ratified in March, allows Jones Lang LaSalle to market the spaces directly to potential clients. In the past the CTA was required to float request for proposal documents and listen to numerous offers. Now they can have the real estate agency do the leg work and choose the right clientele.

They've already inked two deals slated for spring: Maui Wowi Hawaiian, a coffee and smoothie shop, will open at the Belmont Red Line station; and Lupito's Juice Bar will open at Dame on the Pink line.

Jones Lang LaSalle could go after a wide variety of clients including upscale retailers, vending machine groups and more.

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