Apple to "adopt" North/Clybourn stop with $4 million fixup, possible naming rights

Mac and iPod maker Apple can’t bear to be neighbors with a crumbling subway station, so it’s investing about $4 million to spruce up the station house and platform levels of the Red Line’s North/Clybourn station. The station is adjacent to an Apple store slated to open in the fall of 2010 at North and Halsted.

Plans call for Apple to spend about $1.8 million for work on the exterior of the building at North and Clybourn, and about $2.1 million to reimburse the CTA for design construction management and other construction costs. The CTA will rehab the platform level and station interior, while Apple will do the building exterior work.

The ifoAppleStore blog posted a copy of the ordinance on its site as well, which was approved at the August board meeting. Under the agreement, “the CTA will also give Apple “first rights of refusal”  for naming the station and placing advertising within the station, if the CTA later decides to offer those rights.”

While this is a step in the right direction for getting additional non-fare revenue, I don’t think this deal is going to help us very much in filling the 2010 budget deficit. Construction won’t be done till later next year, and then Apple might exercise its option for naming rights and exclusive advertising at the station. That’s not to say I’m not grateful to see Apple step up and invest in this run-down station.


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  • It's interesting that Apple invests so much money to improve the area around its store. I applaud their efforts, as this is only good for the CTA. They must plan on making lots of money! :)

    They didn't say what the plans are for the station though. I assume just a sprucing up of the existing building, not a complete overhaul given the numbers they mentioned.

  • I'm just surprised Apple is so interested in another store so close to their Chicago red line store... but that store is always packed. I wish more companies would do this - as long as stations aren't named "North/Clybourn/Apple Store" I'm happy.

    But how will this fit into the Circle Line/Brown Line super station?

  • Perhaps the CTA can do the "super station" the way Paris and London have in the past with expanding subway stations -- add another level below the existing one for the Circle Line platforms. And no doubt come up with our own above-ground Chicago solution for dealing with the Brown, which in any case does not cross the red at Clybourn anyway (the old Brown station in that neighborhood was at Halsted right next to Steppenwolf -- serving both express and local tracks too).

  • In reply to dblissmn:

    I would think the CTA would a pedestrian tunnel from the subway platform to a new brown line station house on Halsted, then you just up the stairs to the el platform.

  • In reply to dblissmn:

    While I am interested in seeing how this project works out, I am a bit concerned about the long-term implications.

    The state and federal governments already undervalue and underfund public transit as it is, and I worry that they will simply say, "What, want more money for new stations and subway lines? Go ask McDonald's."

  • In reply to dblissmn:

    Perhaps we can convince Apple to open a few more stores across the city. I know a few more stations that could be spruced up with $4 million dollars each. It's not like we are giving them the naming rights. We are just giving them the right to first refusal if we decide to sell the naming rights.

  • In reply to dblissmn:

    how would a circle station below the red line station allow the circle line to feed into the subway at north/clybourn?

  • In reply to dblissmn:

    There is a bus turnaround between the train station and the Apple store under construction. According to ifoAppleStore, "the CTA will lease the bus turnaround to Apple at no cost for 10 years, with options on four, five-year extensions."

    Perhaps, Apple will use this turnaround as a loading dock? That would be bad for the CTA.

    Someone should find out exactly what Apple's lease with the CTA stipulates. That's the real news of this story, and the fact that the CTA buried mention of this lease makes it curiouser and curiouser!

  • In reply to dblissmn:

    I'm amazed that so many people do not realize that if the CTA wants to do more than cosmetic upgrades to stations and needs federal dollars to help, it must meet the standards of the ADA. Apple may be willing to spruce up their next-door neighbor at their new store but they are not willing to make it ADA-compliant. The reason that the Brown Line upgrade was so expensive was not because the tracks had to be extended but because the elevated stations had to include at least one elevator and in most cases two. Try to imagine the cost for providing two (or three) elevators in a subway station with room for zero elevators! Building from scratch is easy, retrofitting, not so easy.

  • Well, the Circle Line plans call for a transfer at North/Clybourn station, don't they? Hopefully whatever they do takes this possibility into account.

  • I don't care if they call it North/Clybourn/Apple Store. As long as they clean it up.

  • UPS can take over the Brown Line upkeep. The mosaic "rug" on the ramp up to the Francisco station is already coming apart.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Oh no! I love that mosaic. Maybe there's a local rug store that could sponsor the station and keep it nice.

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