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Tuesday, July 23, 2013    

OmniTRAX owner Broe Group to help revitalize Chicago port


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois International Port District Chairman Michael Forde on Friday announced the Broe Group has been selected to lead a revitalization at the Port of Chicago.

Broe Group, which owns OmniTRAX Inc, will obtain a long-term lease for most port facilities in the district and, with other parties, invest $500 million in infrastructure improvements at the facilities over the next 10 years. The deal establishes a 62-year lease to match the remaining 62 years on existing leases that are already in place at the port, Emanuel and local officials said in a press release.

"The new agreement is similar to what prosperous ports have done across the country," they said. "It will also create a new partnership with the nearby Olive Harvey College that includes internship sponsorships, job placement opportunities and training programs for new hires."

The Illinois International Port District owns the port, which operates facilities at Lake Calumet and on Lake Michigan. The port is served by 12 major railroads in the Chicago rail hub, including the Class Is.

The district has faced significant challenges in recent years and operated at a loss for 10 straight years through 2011, Rahm and local officials said. The port has not undertaken a significant investment in its facilities since 1981, they added.

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