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Alderman rejects developer’s plans for a new CTA station at 15th Street and Clark

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The proposed Red Line stop will be moved inside the boundaries of Related Midwest’s 62-acre development

A rendering of the 15th Street Red Line station designed by Ross Barney Architects.
Related Midwest

Chicago developer Related Midwest is changing the location of its proposed Red Line station to serve its $7 billion megaproject known as “The 78” after 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell opposed a previously discussed site at the southeast corner of 15th Street and Clark Street.

“While I fully support ‘The 78’ development as unique and necessary opportunity for growth in the City of Chicago, I can not support Related Midwest’s proposal to add a new CTA Red Line Station on 15th Street and Clark Street, right in the middle of an established, entirely residential area,” said Alderman Dowell in a statement on Thursday. “This location would be too disruptive for my residents and completely out of character with the area.”

Instead of placing the estimated $300 million station on vacant CTA-owned land within the South Loop’s Dearborn Park II residential neighborhood, Related now plans to build the transit stop within the boundaries of its 62-acre development site.

An interior rendering of the 15th Street Red Line station.
Related Midwest

“At meetings with neighborhood groups and Alderman Dowell we heard their suggestion to relocate the new CTA red line station to The 78,” said Related Midwest President Curt Bailey in a statement of his own. “In response to their feedback, we’re pleased to announce that the new station will be moved to The 78, on the west side of Clark Street.”

The revised location eliminates the need to disrupt Dearborn Park’s Cotton Tail Park for use as a construction staging area. Although Related tapped landscape architect Site Design Group, Ltd. to design improvements for the neighborhood green space, local residents pushed back against the idea and launched an online petition to “Save Cotton Tail.”

The reasoning behind the new Red Line stop’s original location was due to the subway tube rising at an incline once it crossed into The 78, station designer Carol Ross Barney told residents at a December 17 community meeting. Given the station’s new location, it seems that such technical challenges can be resolved after all.

The Red Line crosses below the southeast corner of The 78 site behind climbing to the surface next to Ping Tom Park (upper left). Any new station there would need to take the sloping elevation change into account.
Related Midwest

The revised plan puts the proposed transit stop within the boundaries of Alderman Danny Solis’s 25th Ward, where Dowell’s outspoken constituents will have less influence on the approval process.

The new station—as a well as a proposed tax increment financing (TIF) district to fund it and other vital infrastructure improvements at The 78—will, however, require approval from the Chicago City Council.