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New Metra station could replace old Fulton Market wheat mill

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Sterling Bay has big plans for Archer Daniels Midland silos at 1300 W. Carroll Avenue

1300 W. Carroll Avenue.
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Busy West Loop-based developer Sterling Bay is closing in on a deal to acquire the Archer Daniels Midland wheat mill and potentially replace the old Fulton Market structure with a new Metra rail station.

The company is currently exploring options to bring a stop for Metra’s Milwaukee West, Milwaukee North, North Central Service, and Union Pacific West lines to the site at 1300 W. Carroll Avenue, reports the Chicago Tribune. Such a transit link would further cement the former meatpacking district’s role as an emerging hot spot for office, hospitality, and residential development.

The ADM property hit the market last fall. At the time, brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield said the location could support a new 400,000-plus-square-foot development, contingent on a zoning change from the city. It is unclear if the developer plans a stand-alone platform or a station integrated into a new building.

The site in question sits across the street from Sterling Bay’s headquarters at its Fulton West development and just a block away from a 13-story office proposal approved by the Chicago Plan Commission earlier this month.

The 2.2-acre site could be developed into a new stop for Metra’s Milwaukee West, Milwaukee North, North Central Service, and Union Pacific West lines.
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A representative from Sterling Bay hinted at the possibility of a future neighborhood Metra stop in January at a community meeting to discuss a trio of new office towers along Green Street. One parcel would even include a linear park next to the tracks that could act as a east-west pedestrian connection should such a station materialize.

Sterling Bay has agreed to pay $25 million for the 2.2-acre site, according to Tribune sources familiar with the deal. ADM plans to continue operating the Chicago facility—built back in 1897 for original owner B.A. Eckhart Milling—until its new mill opens in rural LaSalle County in mid 2019.

A Metra station is also on tap for Sterling Bay’s $5 billion mixed-use Lincoln Yards proposal, encompassing at least 53 acres of land along the Chicago River’s North Branch. Here, the developer plans to replace the existing Clybourn platform with a new “multimodal complex” connecting cyclists, rail commuters, CTA buses, private shuttles, and water taxi passengers.