New station to fulfill a longstanding need for better transit options on Chicago’s Near West Side
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Alderman Walter Burnett, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter and city officials today to announce plans for a brand-new CTA station on the Green Line at Damen Avenue—the latest investment in transportation infrastructure that will modernize and improve the nation’s second-largest transit system.
The new station will fill a 1.5 mile gap between existing Green Line stations at California and Ashland to better serve the growing business corridor and residential neighborhood on Chicago’s Near West side.
“Today we close the transit gap and provide local residents and businesses with the new station they have been asking for. The new station at Damen will fulfill a longstanding need for better transit options in the neighborhood and spur economic activity, improving quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the area,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The Damen station will be the third new Chicago CTA station opened by Mayor Emanuel since 2011, and will serve a Near West Side community that has seen notable residential and commercial growth in recent years. The new station will improve public transit options for businesses in the Kinzie Corridor, visitors to the United Center, and nearby residents, including tenants of the Chicago Housing Authority's Villages of Westhaven complex.
“Giving residents more transportation options can open up more employment opportunities, make it easier for them to get to schools and improve their overall quality of life," Alderman Burnett. "I am pleased that the City is moving forward on closing the gap in public transportation that will assist our residents and allow for future growth in our community."
Similar in-fill stations, or stations that close the gap between existing stations, were built at Morgan (Green and Pink lines, 2012) and Cermak-McCormick Place (Green Line, 2015).
“As we’ve see many times, investment in new and improved CTA stations pays great dividends for communities across the city,” said CTA President Carter. “Providing a convenient, affordable transportation option makes it easy for people to get to and from work, school and their other destinations. And new stations have been shown to promote private investment in the surrounding area.”
Since the opening of the Morgan station in 2012, the number of business licenses and construction permits issued doubled in the first year, while weekday ridership increased by more than 40 percent within the first full year of operation. Google recently relocated near the station, numerous restaurants and shops have opened, and residential development has continued at a rapid pace.
The Cermak-McCormick Place station has become a vital transit connection for the historic Motor Row District and Near South Side community, which has seen an increase in bus and rail ridership, as well as several new commercial and residential developments. Gross commercial rent rates have increased 75 percent since the project was announced in 2012 and new construction/demolition permits have jumped 82 percent since 2013.
The CTA will work in coordination with the Chicago Department of Transportation, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development and community stakeholders to carry out the project.
Funding for the project will be provided by the Kinzie Industrial Corridor Tax Increment Financing district.
Design and engineering work for the station is expected to begin in the summer of 2017, and construction work is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018. The project is expected to take two years to complete.
The new station builds on the series of major investments in the City’s transit system under Mayor Emanuel’s watch. Since 2011, more than 40 CTA stations have been rebuilt or received major renovations—more than 30 percent of the CTA system. That total includes signature station projects at 95th Street and Wilson on the Red Line, and a new ‘L’ station at Washington and Wabash that will serve as a gateway to Millennium Park and the east Loop.