Mayor Emanuel said the new station will help bring more economic opportunities to the West Side. He also brought up his trip to Asia this week, hoping to protect Chicago's interests amid a trade war with China.
The brand new CTA Damen Green Line station planned at Lake Street and Damen Avenue will fill a mile-and-a-half gap between stations.
It will bring an eye-catching, modern architectural design from the firm Perkins + Will to the skyline on the city's Near West Side. The station will have a grand stair and escalator that will be visible through the station's transparent facade. There will also be a glass bridge for connections between inbound and outbound platforms.
But Mayor Emanuel said the biggest selling point is that, "this investment will also be the key in the ignition that unlocks the economic growth."
At the unveiling of the new design, Emanuel spoke about his impending trip to China and Japan. A priority of the trip is to meet with a Chinese company with a contract to replace about half of the CTA train cars on the city's South Side.
Emanuel worries that after the tariffs imposed by President Trump's administration last week, about 200 local jobs could be in jeopardy.
"I do not want that to be a bargaining chip. I do not want it to become a victim of the Trump trade war between the United States and China. There's a way to handle the disputes without it causing loss of jobs," the mayor said.
Emanuel said that in total his meetings in Asia will concern somewhere between 750 and 1,000 jobs back home. He said he doesn't know for certain that any jobs will be impacted, but he'd rather be proactive about maintaining those business relationships.
"Do I know for sure if this will become a victim? Nobody does," he said.
Mayor Emanuel leaves for Asia later Monday. As for the new Damen station, work on the foundation will begin late this year and work on the station house will begin in the spring of 2019. The station is expected to open in 2020.