Amtrak announces shortlist for $1bn Chicago station refurb

US rail operator Amtrak has announced a shortlist of four consortiums for a $1bn upgrade of Chicago’s Union Station and neighbouring properties.

The Amtrak site covers 14 acres of downtown Chicago, and has 1.3 million square feet of building area. It is estimated that as much as 3 million of "buildable square feet" could be added to the existing structures.

The four teams in the running for the scheme, which was announced in August last year, are as follows:

  • Chicago Union Station Partners: This has Walsh Construction as the contractor, Gensler as the architect and urban designer, Arup as the consulting engineer, and Golub & Company as the operations and maintenance contractor.
  • The JLL Consortium: Led by developer Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, with Pelli Clarke Pelli, Arup and Studio Gang as the design and engineering team. John Buck is the operations and maintenance contractor.
  • Riverside Investment & Development: Magnusson Klemencic Associates as structural engineer, WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff as "rail interface" engineer, Clark Construction Group as construction manager, CBRE as property manager and ESD Global as the mechanical and electrical engineer.
  • Sterling Bay: James McHugh Construction as the design-and-build contractor, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as architect and engineer and Sterling Bay as the operations manager and financier.

Amtrak will work with accountant KPMG, the City of Chicago, Metra commuter rail and the Regional Transportation Authority to assess the bids.

The client team is looking for a complete masterplan, both in terms of urban design as well as investment finance and the commercial development in the surrounding West Loop neighbourhood.

Bart Bush, Amtrak’s head of asset and real estate development, commented on the organisation’s website: "We are excited to be a step closer to securing a master developer to assist us in realising the full potential of Chicago Union Station and our other Chicago properties.

"The firms selected to advance to the next phase of the process represent some of the best developers in the business, complete with the financial capacity to dream big for Amtrak and the city of Chicago."

Chicago Union Station opened in 1925. It is the only intercity rail terminal in Chicago, as well as being the principal terminal for commuter trains.

Image: Chicago’s Union Station (Amtrak)

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