CTA TRANSIT officials have proposed building a convention center on top of a vacant property in the city’s West Side, raising questions about whether the city is willing to let the project come to fruition.
The city of Chicago’s Transportation Committee on Tuesday approved the proposal by a 7-2 vote, which would add more than a million square feet of office space to the CTA’s West Loop station.
The new facility would be called the Chicago Convention Center and would be built at a site near the former site of the former Metra station, the city said in a statement.
It would be part of a $250 million plan to upgrade the area around the former station and build a new transit hub on the former train depot.
The site was recently leased by the Chicago Transit Authority to build an outdoor convention center.
“The proposed facility would serve as the gateway to the region’s next-generation convention destination, and it will provide a world-class destination for all who seek to experience Chicago’s exciting culture, arts, sports and music,” the committee wrote in its recommendation.
The committee also recommended that the state use $75 million from a $5 billion transportation bond approved in 2016 to help fund the project.
A source familiar with the project said the city would also seek additional funds for the project from the state, but declined to say how much.
The proposed convention center would be located about six blocks east of the old Metra Station, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The project has been in the works for more than two years, but the project was first announced in January 2015.