Details emerge on Cermak Road Green Line station

'Aggressive timeline' targeting open by end of 2014; will be paid for with $50 million in TIF cash

03/23/2012 6:21 PM

By Ben Meyerson

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Workers are nearing completion of Chicago Transit Authority's new train station at Morgan Street in the West Loop. The CTA's next station is set to be built by 2014 at Cermak Road on the Green Line.
File 2012/J.GEIL

The Green Line’s $50 million new stop at Cermak Road should be open by the end of 2014, officials from the CTA and the city of Chicago said at a meeting Thursday night. And a stop at 18th Street is off the table for now, mostly due to issues with Orange Line trains.

Officials from the CTA discussed the station’s details at a community meeting in Columbia College’s 623 S. Wabash Ave. building, explaining just why a stop at 18th isn’t feasible right now.

The main problem is that a station at 18th would sit just next to the point in the CTA system where the Orange Line splits off to the southwest of the Green Line, according to the CTA’s manager of planning, Joe Iacobucci. Putting a new stop in at 18th would require a completely new switching mechanism — including requiring an employee to run what’s now an automatic switch.

“The new switch would have to be manned,” Iacobucci said at the meeting. “It would cause additional complications with a system that runs pretty smoothly right now.”

Additionally, since there used to be a Green Line station at Cermak, the CTA has the rights to enough land around the proposed site to build a new station without having to buy any land. At 18th, the CTA would have to buy property in order to build a new station — the right of way is at least 10 feet too narrow to build a station there now, Iacobucci said.

The city is aiming to accelerate the project, having it done by 2014. They’re looking for contractors to design the station right now, and hope to have a design on the books by the end of the year.

The new station will be built with $50 million taken entirely out of the Near South tax increment financing district, and it’s no coincidence that the TIF is set to expire by the end of 2014.

The new stop will have three entrances, one on either side of Cermak and one further south at 23rd Street, which would be intended for conventioneers and workers heading to McCormick Place and, hopefully, what would become the Motor Row entertainment district.

Benet Haller, director of planning and urban design with the city’s Department of Housing and Economic Development, said the train stop would be key to Motor Row’s growth.

“If you look at Uptown, or the area around Wrigleyville, those are entertainment districts, and a very important part of their success as an entertainment district is that they’re directly next to an ‘L’ station,” Haller said. “If you’re out there drinking a lot, being able to get on the ‘L’ and head home and not drive or do something more dangerous is a positive benefit.”

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By South Loopr from South Loop
Posted: 08/23/2012 12:50 PM

Was there any new news on the Cermak stop?

By Dave
Posted: 03/28/2012 5:44 PM

Where exactly is the stop going to be? Cermak and what?

By Anon
Posted: 03/27/2012 7:45 PM

Actually, Sam, That stop at Apple, North/Clybourn to be exact, has existed at the exact same building since 1943. The Apple store was built in 2009 and North/Clybourn\\\'s street level was renovated by apple. Don\\\'t worry, I still think those are great ideas! I just think that example could be changed to something like Sox-35th or Addison, serving both of the baseball stadiums!

By Sam from Far West Side
Posted: 03/26/2012 4:48 PM

Adding more stations on both the Pink and Green lines, will help the Red and Blue lines from being over crowded. Like others had stated before, CTA and United Center need to put a el station on Madison and Damon. Why not? There is a Apple stop on North Avenue/Fullerton at the Red Line.

By Steve
Posted: 03/26/2012 11:14 AM

The Cermak station I think we all agree with on the Green Line but I would love to know is if there is talk about putting a station on Madison on the Pink Line. That would make sense for those going to the games at the United Center.

By Brianbobcat
Posted: 03/25/2012 1:19 AM

This all really does make sense. While 18th sure may be the preferable spot for residents, looking at the area via Google Maps you can see the issue with the Orange line flying in. Also, the Motor Row district will really benefit from this, if that area does take off. I do like that there will be entrances on both sides of Cermak, but to appease the residents calling for an 18th street station, why not place the 3rd entrance north of Cermak not south? All south has a semi parking lot @ 23rd.