The $20 billion megaproject, One Central, in Chicago appears to be moving forward, following a dispute with Metra Electric, Chicago’s commuter rail system. Landmark Development, the developer of One Central, reached a tentative agreement this week to work “above, below, and around the tracks in the area without disrupting commuter operations.” Also, Landmark will spend $3.8 billion on a transit connection.
One Central will include 1.5 million square feet of retail, dining, and amenities, as well as 9,000 residences, a hotel, and office space. The construction project will employ 19,000 workers. When completed, there will be more than 70,000 permanent on-site jobs; they expect the additional opportunities in the surrounding neighborhood to create an additional 78,000 jobs.
Construction will initially involve the transit portion as well as some civic enhancements. This ambitious project requires a long-term schedule; transit construction, which must finish before high-rise construction can resume, will not be completed until 2025.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Metra confirms the deal as “an initial memorandum of understanding,” calling it “a golden opportunity” for overdue improvements.
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) spokesman Brian Steele said the agency is having productive talks with the developer. “Large-scale proposed developments such as this bring an opportunity to explore transit improvements that could benefit the entire city, and CTA is committed to examining the infrastructure and operational considerations of any transit proposals,” Steele said.
Chicago’s $20 billion construction project promises a significant boost in permanent jobs, as well as retail, dining, residential, and other metropolitan attractions.