Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was among the dignitaries at Union Station Sunday as he highlighted redevelopment work being undertaken at the historic transportation hub.
The proposed project, which would feature a partnership between the city, Amtrak, and other development partners, will bring a variety of new features and attractions to the area around the station, and represents the city’s commitment to creating and maintaining a 21st century transportation infrastructure.
“You want a 21st century economy? You have to have a 21st century transportation infrastructure,” Emanuel said. “If you have a middle 20th century mindset, you’ll just run at that speed.”
The next phase of the project will create a new entrance on Clinton Street, offering an opportunity for the development of a new food court and retail space, according to a press release from the city.
A proposed 50-story office tower and one and a half acre park are also being discussed, and will be considered by the Chicago City Council in the coming weeks and months.
If approved, construction would potentially begin as soon as late 2019, and would last up to three years.
The project would create an estimated 5,100 construction jobs and nearly 500 permanent jobs when it is completed, according to city estimates.
“The project represents a great opportunity to preserve and revitalize the City’s busiest train station while also accommodating ongoing demand for commercial office space in the West Loop,” said David L. Reifman, the city’s commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development.