January 28, 2004

Move Will Bring Added Services, Key Infrastructure Improvements to 28 Stations

Chicago Transit Authority Customers of 28 rail stations systemwide will soon enjoy new concession stands thanks to contracts approved today by the Chicago Transit Board. The move will bring popular added services to CTA customers, provide key infrastructure improvements to the stations, and generate an additional $4.1 million in rent and capital improvements for the CTA in the next five years.

Contracts were approved for several companies to lease, operate and construct 30 quality concession stands at locations that currently are either vacant or being rented on a month-to-month basis. As part of the new agreements, the CTA will lease the concession spaces for five years to lessees who will pay rent and make infrastructure upgrades to improve the appearance of the stations involved. The leases were competitively bid and awarded to First Equity Property, Inc. of Rolling Meadows, Illinois; the Coffee Station of Northbrook, Illinois; and A&M Concessions, Inc and KCI Enterprise-1, Inc., both of Chicago.

?Concession stands help to make public transit a more convenient and inviting mode if transportation," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole L. Brown. ?The new lease agreements will allow vendors to have long-term leases that provide security and encourage investment ? both of which are beneficial to their businesses. The revenue generated and the significant improvements that will be made to the physical layout of the concession stands benefit the CTA."

?Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) contractors are an essential element of these agreements," stated CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The concession contracts approved today reflect a substantial DBE component translating into $760,642 for DBE firms, 30 percent of the capital build out portion of the contracts."

CTA concession stands offer customers a variety of products and services that include, but are not limited to, newspapers and magazines, film processing, express mail service, shoe repair, gifts, sundries and notions and photocopy and fax services.

First Equity, which will lease 26 concession spaces, will operate a gourmet coffee shop inside the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line that will offer a variety of bakery items, bottled beverages, juices and coffee drinks. The company also plans to open newspaper stands, florist shops and convenience stores at its remaining locations.

A&M Concessions, which is leasing two concession stands ? Irving Park station on the Blue Line and Clark/Division station on the Red Line ? will offer traditional concession items such as newspapers and snacks.

Two of the new contracts were awarded to CTA vendors that have been operating on a month-to-month lease. The Coffee Station will continue to provide a variety of food and beverages at the Jefferson Park station on the Blue Line, and KCI Enterprise-1 will continue to offer snack items at the Randolph/ Washington subway station in the Loop, now under a five year lease agreement.

In 1998, the CTA established the Concession Redevelopment Program to implement uniform lease terms that include longer lease periods as well as provisions for controlled merchandising and guidelines for improved presentation and appearance. As a result of this program, 27 CTA concession spaces throughout the CTA rail system have received capital upgrades. Today's board approval will add another 30 to that number when construction work is complete.

Capital improvements at the concession spaces typically consist of electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning improvements as well as new windows, counter tops, shelving, flooring and ceilings.

The CTA's competitive bid process evaluates bids for the concession spaces based on the vendor's proposed rent and capital improvement expenditure; financial background; experience with concession stands and design of the concession space.

Rent for the concession spaces depend upon the rail station and number of customers it serves. All rents are a combination of the bid rent and the amount of capital improvement to the concession proposed by the bidder.

For additional information about the CTA's concession program, contact the agency at 1-888-YOUR-CTA or visit the agency's web site at www.transitchicago.com.

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