The public hasn’t seen them for decades, but Chicago’s Union Station has large rooms with 33-foot-high ceilings that were once filled with restaurants, a dance hall and tailor shops.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Amtrak wants to open those thousands of square feet and is soliciting proposals from investors and businesses to bid on them for retail rental. A spokesman with railroad company that owns the 90-year-old building says the goal is to transform it into a traveler and visitor’s venue that exceeds the retail and food offerings at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Some improvements to Chicago’s Union Station already have been made, and a $14.5 million bus transit center is scheduled to open next year.
Amtrak officials say the company also is spending $12.2 million on station restoration.