Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Retail at CTA Red Line L stations....

During the recent run off campaign now Alderman-elect Roderick Sawyer had talked about one plan for economic development. To turn or L stops into economic hubs where you could at the very least buy a newspaper or a cup of coffee before you board the Red Line.

Although we see a recent column about the CTA revamping their policy for retail leases at stations throughout the system, Sawyer surely wasn't merely stopping at having retail at L station houses:
The CTA last year began an experiment at eight rail stations, including those at both Chicago airports, by installing vending machines that sell popular national magazines such as Time, People, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly. Under the contract with The Classic Group, the CTA is guaranteed $500 per month per machine.

The CTA's new leasing partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle is aimed at completing transactions with new vendors quickly. It is the result of an ordinance the CTA board approved in March allowing retail and concession space on transit agency property to be marketed for lease on the open market through direct brokerage, a break from previous practices in which the CTA conducted a lengthy requests-for-proposal process for available spaces.

"We can market these properties, create competition and solicit bids directly from prospective tenants,'' said Kurt Little, managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, which has been the CTA's real estate services provider since 2008.
A little over two years ago I posted a link to the CTA Properties page courtesy Jones Lang LaSalle. Then there were retail vacancies within both 95th and 79th Streets. Of course it appears both of the vacancies have apparently been filled although I can attest to the 95th vacancy being occupied by a newstand currently.

Now also if you want to look at "transit oriented developments" there are two ideas. Perhaps an opportunity to revamp the vacant lot and the abandoned building at 79th & State just off the Red Line. In fact I wrote about that property close to two years ago.

Another is to build up the vacant land @ 69th & State. There is already retail nearby especially on State Street which is on the East side of the Dan Ryan Expressway. Perhaps building up this property could open up opportunities for transit oriented development nearby the CTA Red Line.

BTW, this is Sawyer's statement on creating a "transit based economy" to a Tribune questionnaire before the February 22nd election:
The City needs to secure new streams of revenue, prior to any discussion about raising taxes. In the Sixth Ward, for example, I am proposing that we look seriously at instituting a "transit based economy". In the Sixth Ward we are anchored by 4 major rail lines (95th, 87th, 79th & 69th), yet we have no economic engine supporting these areas. We have no park-and-ride, no coffee shops, copy stores, nor any of the business that should surround transit stops that have, on average, a total daily ridership of 33,066 for all four stops. We are not generating any significant income from the millions of riders annually passing through these stops. I believe this one initiative could generate millions of dollars each year in additional tax revenue, and provide businesses and jobs to this community.
Something to consider for this community as it is being discussed in others around the city. Look no further than Uptown Update for what they want to do with their long neglected Wilson stop.

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