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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak completes Union Station improvements in Chicago


Amtrak has completed a $25 million improvement project at Chicago’s Union Station.

Mortenson Construction restored the station’s Great Hall and its attached eight-story office building. The firm also upgraded or replaced the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will installing fire safety equipment, including sprinklers and fire alarms, to ensure the 87-year-old building is compliant with city regulations.

Amtrak recently moved its Chicago office employees back into the building, partially occupying the second and third floors, a move that will save more than $2 million in annual rent, according to a press release. The building improvements will help reduce utility costs, which have dropped more than $1 million so far this year.

To generate more funds toward operating costs, Amtrak is working with the building’s property manager, Jones Lang LaSalle, to market the rest of the available Headhouse office space as well as 60,000 square feet of upgraded retail space surrounding the Great Hall.

“What was previously unrentable space because of life-safety issues and inadequate ventilation systems has become prime real estate,” said Ray Lang, president of the Amtrak-owned Chicago Union Station Co. and the railroad's chief of state government relations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/27/2012