CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the state’s efforts to sell the James R. Thompson Center are being hampered by the question of what happens to the key CTA Station on the property — and who pays for it.
Michael Hoffman, Acting Director of Illinois’ Central Management Services Agency, said his office is trying to work out a zoning issue with the city, and the fate and cost of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Clark and Lake station, which is inside the Thompson Center and is a transfer point among six CTA lines. WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
“What we said from the beginning is that we expect all parties to work cooperatively and come up with a plan for if there needs to be a new station,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman further said that there should be a shared responsibility for what he says is a shared benefit.
Mayor Emanuel sees things differently. Emanuel said the state stands to make a lot of money by selling the James R. Thompson Center. But, he notes, the CTA’s Clark and Lake Station is in that building, and he doesn’t want to see the city stuck with an $80- to $120-million tab to rebuild the transit stop.
“Yes the state gets to book the money when they sell,” Emanuel said. “But who’s going to build or rebuild that station? I think I am responsible to make sure that tab is not on the Chicago taxpayers.”
A spokeswoman for Governor Rauner said the city doesn’t get any property tax revenue from the land now, but could get $45 million a year when it’s developed. She expressed disbelief that the city would hold up the project over a CTA station.