New Details Released on Plans for Amtrak's Massive Union Station Rehab

The proposed development will total 3.1 million square feet and is expected to create 7,500 construction jobs and 7,000 to 8,000 permanent jobs

Amtrak has chosen a developer for a massive rehab project at Union Station that is expected to cost an estimated $1 billion and take up to six years to complete.

Chicago’s Riverside Investment & Development Co. was selected as the master developer for the project, which will include parts of Union Station and neighboring Amtrak-owned properties.

The design proposed by Riverside would be completed in three phases, revamping street entrances and pedestrian traffic flow at Union Station as well as improvements to landscaping and open spaces.

The proposed development will total 3.1 million square feet and is expected to create 7,500 construction jobs and 7,000 to 8,000 permanent jobs.

Phase one of the project would include Union Station Headhouse and concourse improvements, adding street level retail, renovating the Headhouse and Great Hall, adding 100,000 square feet of office space and a proposed hotel above the Great Hall. It would also add two 12-story residential towers above the Headhouse.

Phase two would focus on new office towers with retail and parking in what is currently a parking garage. It would build two new 750,000 square foot office towers with ground floor retail and about 800 parking spaces and put in green spaces including terraces and plazas above the current Union Station Transit Center.

In phase three, developers plan to add 500,000 square feet of retail and residential tower 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,” Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman said in a statement. “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.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called it an “historic endeavor.”

“This agreement will generate thousands of jobs and ensure a more vibrant future for Union Station and the entire city of Chicago,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The thorough planning process with Amtrak and the many partners involved in this historic endeavor will ensure this plan generates the greatest economic impact and benefit the entire region and nation.”

Financial negotiations are set to by finalized by the end of 2017, officials said. More details on the plan are expected to be released during an 11 a.m. mayoral press conference.

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