Department of Aviation to acquire state-owned building adjacent to Midway International Airport

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former midway armory
The former Midway Armory building (Google Street View image)

Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will acquire the former Army National Guard Midway Armory from the State of Illinois under an ordinance approved by city council.

The four-acre property is located on the north side of West 63rd Street, completely surrounded by Midway International Airport property, including nearby facilities for cargo, private aviation, and Chicago Fire Department operations. A 75,000-sq. ft. structure on the site has been vacant since 2017 when the Illinois Army National Guard ceased operations at the base and relocated its unit to Kankakee.

The ordinance permits the CDA to enter negotiations to purchase the structure and the land it sits on for fair market value. The purchase would be financed strictly by airport funds, without the use of any local taxpayer dollars.

A separate agreement was signed with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to advise the CDA on environmentally sustainable initiatives as the airport authority continues to embark on its O’Hare 21 capital improvement project, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced today.

“O’Hare and Midway International Airports are tremendous engines for economic activity across the region, and tremendous drivers of equity through the CDA’s ongoing commitment to establishing opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “As we continue to embark on O’Hare 21, one of the city’s largest infrastructure projects this decade, this agreement will help ensure the world’s second busiest airport is second to none when it comes to the sustainable growth of the aviation industry.”

The ordinance gives the CDA the authority to enter into a series of agreements with the NREL and its operating contractor, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy. The CDA and its design and construction partners will engage with NREL to study and incorporate renewable power technologies into the airport’s new facilities in a cost-effective manner, including the new O’Hare Global Terminal and new satellite concourses planned through the O’Hare 21 Terminal Area Plan.

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