The CTA is reporting some progress on leasing long-vacant storefronts and other station properties. But some locations that have been vacant for years are still proving to be hard sells.
At its board meeting earlier this month, the CTA approved eight new concession leases at rail stations on the Brown, Green, Red, Orange, Purple and Blue lines, including a new, locally owned eatery at the Green Line Halsted station.
The Halsted station will house the locally owned Praise Chicago Restaurant, which will hire local youth and teach them skills to pursue careers in the culinary arts. Praise Restaurant founder Darryl Fuery said he and his fellow owners, all local professional chefs, will provide hands-on training in the restaurant business. Praise Chicago will sell fresh food from 6 a.m. through 7 p.m., including omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and other healthy, freshly prepared meal items.
The other new concession leases include new Dunkin’ Donut outlets at Chicago, Davis, and Western on the Red, Purple and Brown Lines. The Blue Line will see several new shops, including a convenience store at Harlem, a newsstand at Washington and a Greyhound ticket booth at Cumberland. The Kedzie Orange Line will have a newsstand.
The CTA reports the total revenue from the new leases is estimated at $1.8 million. In the past three years, the CTA has added 52 new retail concession spaces.
Meanwhile, on the Far North Side, storefronts vacant for almost 20 years in some cases remain dormant, despite rehabs in 2012 as part of the Red Line North station upgrade project. But now there is some interest in at least three of them.
DNAinfo Chicago is reporting that “the CTA is reviewing bids for leases at three of the vacant CTA retail spaces at Morse and Granville stations that were renovated in 2012.” No further details were available.
There currently are 18 vacant CTA-owned locations listed for rent, including five spaces at Morse and Loyola stations.
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