Chicago's Union Station area to get $1 billion makeover

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Union Station is iconic. Commuters may not recognize it once a $1 billion project is complete. The city released a first look at the plans late Wednesday night.

Think landscaping and open spaces - things that will be very appealing to pedestrians. The renderings released by the city overnight paint a clear picture of the proposed changes.

The master concept includes a few office towers across the street and a proposed food hall along Clinton Street. The proposal also includes a residential tower that will be built above the head house at Union Station. There is also a plan for a public green space on the roof level.

The initial design, proposed by Riverside Investment and Development Company, would create about 3.1 million square-feet of new commercial space near the station.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Amtrak CEO Charles Moorman will announce Thursday a team that will develop the commercial sections of Union Station and the neighboring, Amtrak-owned properties. They predict it will take six years to complete.

The city predicts the project will take about six years to complete and the development will create about 8,000 permanent jobs.
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