From our buddies at the CTA Tattler:
Here is another installment in answers to questions that I didn't have the time to ask President Ron Huberman at the last Coffee with Ron. And no, Huberman did not personally answer each of these questions. Answers were prepared by the PR staff and reviewed by Huberman.
Q: "I'd like to know what the timeline is for renovating the retail space under the Wilson Red Line station. I'd also like to know if the CTA owns the Majestic Store property at Broadway and Leland, and what the plans are, if any, to stop the deterioration of this historic building." (From Elaine.)
A: "CTA currently does not have a timeline for renovating the retail space at Wilson. Our real estate contractor, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is working on a global review of CTA's real estate holdings. CTA owns the Majestic Store property on Broadway. JLL is reviewing CTA's real estate portfolio to determine the status of its facilities and the best use for each of them. JLL has only been on board since August 1, 2008, so their process is in the early stages."
Odd, I could swear I was at a meeting at Truman College where Ronny boy said the revitalization of the retail under the Wilson L was on "fast track" and the money from that would restore the Wilson L. Aren't there about 3 large vacant store fronts there? I'm wondering how many years now they've been vacant.ReplyDelete
I certainly don't want to rush oh Ronny boy, but how many more years do these store fronts need to remain vacant while CTA is coming up with a plan? I'm thinking I have a better understanding why the CTA is having so many financial woes.
But Helen said a couple years ago that the Wilson L rehab plan was at "30%." What the hell happened to that?ReplyDelete
I've heard a few tid bits over the last couple months....ReplyDelete
1. Someone high up in the CTA organization has moved to Uptown and has taken an interest in the Larence and Wilson stops ---- which is why they've gotten some paint and spot repairs lately.
2. There's some kind of policy that has the CTA prioritizing the upgrade of it's stops based on how close they are to colleges. Because Wilson is the Truman college outlet - - - technically it ranks in higher priority than many other stops and technically, it should get an upgrade very soon.
- I heard this from a very nice CTA station worker at the new Montrose Brown-line stop. My wife and I love to walk over to Margies Ice Cream and sit out on the sidewalk on summer evenings with our dog. The CTA worker loves our dog....and because she's out every evening cleaning up the sidewalk outside and watering plants - we tend to have pretty long conversations with her. This is just one of the many little things that makes me jealous of Ravenswood and all the neighboring communities that actually have decent elected leadership.
1. Someone high up in the CTA organization has moved to Uptown and has taken an interest in the Larence and Wilson stops ---- which is why they've gotten some paint and spot repairs lately.ReplyDelete
How much higher up can you get than Huberman? He lives in Uptown and uses the Wilson stop.
There's some kind of policy that has the CTA prioritizing the upgrade of it's stops based on how close they are to colleges. Because Wilson is the Truman college outlet - - - technically it ranks in higher priority than many other stops and technically, it should get an upgrade very soon.ReplyDelete
That is what the Jones Lang consultants do. They study high traffic stops and find ways to insert retail in the station to generated additional revenue to improve the station. The retailers won't commit unless the government fronts capital to improve the stop first. The government has to finance the frontal commitment and then hope the high traffic stop yields business for the retailer.
I like this idea. I don't think the CTA needs Jones Lang to figure any of this out.
It is interesting that they went outside the city of Chicago and the State of Illinois to find consultants to do this.
In my opinion this is what TIF money is for...to establish/upgrade public facilities which should encourage private investment in an area heretofor unattractive to investors. (As opposed to building another Gill Park whose burned-out/boarded-up windows I see from my living room.)ReplyDelete
Ron Huberman is dreamy.ReplyDelete
Does anyone have any real schedule or information when and if the Wilson stop will be re-done? And I don't mean the usless slap on some paint that was recently done.ReplyDelete
Yes it would be nice if there were shops, but that's not what i mean. The actual stop is disgusting. When visiting friends I use the Diversey Brown Line stop and I am so jealous! It's so nice and clean, brightly-lit and shiny new! I so have CTA STOP ENVY.
The Wilson stop is horrible. The stairs (on south side of Wilson at least) are so slippery & slanting downwards ... I always feel like I am going to fall all the way down to the bottom ... and I don't want to even think about what that puddle is I will end up in.
Well, if you ask right before a city election, the remodel is just right around the corner within the next year. However, you're asking in an off election year so it will be a long wait and there's no timeline then. Does that clear it up for you?ReplyDelete
I don't mean to sound sarcastic. I'm stating this from my own personal observations.
Chuck----for Pete's sake. Get a room!ReplyDelete
And let me know which room.
And let Pete know too!
At least there IS a station at Wilson.ReplyDelete
The Lawrence station must have been torn down years ago. Does anyone know why the cyclone fencing was removed at the Lawrence stop??? Improvements??????
BTW...I want in on the Huberman thing too!!!ReplyDelete
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Diversey stop was remodeled partially with funds from the Feds via the Americans for Disabilties Act. All the el stops have to be upgraded to include elevators so that all persons, handicapped or not, can access the platforms.ReplyDelete
There is a legal timeline that forces muni governments to come into compliance with the AD Act, but the loophole is the funding from the feds. No money now, delayed compliance.
I think it is safe to presume the Lawrence or Wilson stop will be either remodeled or torn down to make a new station in the next 3 years.
My best guess is a new el station built at Sunnyside as some backwards entry to Aldi and Target that connects students directly to the new student center and parking lot.
Remember, CTA is saying this new parking lot is a "park and ride" facility.
They'll lie to you about the project until after they make the decision on what they're going to do.
I support remodeling the historic Wilson stop. The building is a real treasure that could contain plenty of retail connected to the CTA station itself. It's a tougher legal fight though.ReplyDelete
Pushing around Wilson Yard and Truman College is a heck of a lot easier.
It is interesting that they went outside the city of Chicago and the State of Illinois to find consultants to do this.ReplyDelete
Actually, Jones Lang is local as well as global. They've got extensive offices in the Aon Building (or whatever it's called now) downtown. (I interviewed with them this summer.) They're huge: they run Navy Pier, the Sears Tower and lots of other major properties here.
And continued silence from Helen remains the norm.ReplyDelete
What's really happening with the Wilson L? Who knows? Helen is meeting with herself to decide and she won't let you know until the plans are made. We may like it, we may not. Helen says she gets to do whatever she wants because she's the alderman. That's her leadership style that we've had for 20+ years.