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Chicago Transit Partners With Apple

Through a partnership between the Chicago Transit Authority and Apple, Inc., renovations at the North and Clybourn Red Line station have just been completed. CTA's agreement with Apple, which constructed a new Apple retail store on the adjacent property, provided $3.9 million to renovate the station inside and out.

Published November 17, 2010 in Transit      13 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature


The site is located at a former gas station and bus turnaround (shown above prior to construction) at the North and Clybourn CTA Red Line station in Chicago.



The North and Clybourn station headhouse before the renovations began in 2009.
 


The North and Clybourn station after being completely renovated inside and out with nearly $4 million in funds provided by Apple.



A plaza, with tables and chairs, a fountain, and free wifi was created between the Apple Store and the train station. Prior to these improvements, this property was used as a CTA bus turnaround.



The Apple Store and renovated train station open into the newly created plaza, providing a reason for people to be there on a regular basis.



The 18,000 square foot Apple retail store opened on October 23, 2010. The building has entrances facing the plaza, North Ave, and Clybourn Ave.



The store and renovated train station filled a pedestrian unfriendly gap in an otherwise walkable district.




This project serves as a great example of a public/private transit partnership which benefited both parties as well as the entire neighborhood.

Article by Daniel Herbin







13 Comments

thelakelander

November 17, 2010, 06:56:39 AM
Nice article.  This serves as a pedestrian refuge in the middle of heavily traveled roads.  This is a concept that could be applied at our most popular skyway stations, the JRTC and along proposed commuter rail, streetcar corridors. 

Jason

November 17, 2010, 09:23:06 AM
I wonder how many people have stepped off into that fountain! :)

I agree Lake, that is a great example of the private sector enhancing public infrastructure for the benefit of both.

Singejoufflue

November 17, 2010, 09:55:55 AM
Hooray! This looks great!!! I always felt that station was going to fall apart around me and was happy to hear of the partnership, although the actual construction was a nightmare for us pedestrians. It doesn't appear they kept the pizza place that had been attached to the station. Bummer.

More importantaly, Chicago is about to go hog wild on corporate partnerships. Metra and CTA have both considering pimping out station names to the highest bidder as rate increases and service cuts are hung over riders heads every budget season. This past year, we got both cuts and increases!!! While I don't see a problem, per se, I doubt the geniuses in charge at the RTA will go far enough in these deals.  Don't just name it Puma Station - make them responsible (or charging enough) for maintaining it (cleanliness, snow removal, shuffling the bums along) as well. 

Coolyfett

November 17, 2010, 09:59:23 AM
The people in Chicago are really hating this idea...from what I read they feel CTA is "pimping" themselves out to corporate america.  I think many of those Chicago people are tied up in their politcal beliefs they cant tell 1 + 1 = 2. I mean this is powermove in my book. Im a little iffy on changing the name to Apple Inc Station. I have no issue with a brand taking over a transit station having their name plastered everywhere, in a day & age where people need money & companies ready to readily spend...I say hell yea! Pimp the station out, keep the fares low, let the brand maintain the station.

Coolyfett

November 17, 2010, 10:20:31 AM
People have such an issue with signage, but I think if done property it could work! Instead of the stupind mega parking lot Wal Mart plazas, stations like this could be the next way of consumer spending. At close yesterday an Apple share went for 302 bux...so biz must be good. I could see other power multinational brands making moves like this, where a station become more than a station that is always has departing or arriving people. Like a mini airport, but a trainport lol.

finehoe

November 17, 2010, 10:25:22 AM
What happens in these public/private transit partnerships if the corporation goes bankrupt? (Think GM or Lehman Brothers.)

Coolyfett

November 17, 2010, 10:35:03 AM
Maybe CTA will reopen stations to the next bidder? I think a TEN YR deal should be the minimum. No contract less than a decade long. If a firm goes bankrupt & can no longer afford the stations, just move on to the next firm on the waiting list. They could probably let more than one company make deals with each station.

Lunican

November 17, 2010, 10:46:52 AM
In this particular case, the money was essentially a donation from Apple so that their store wasn't next to an ugly neighbor.

spuwho

November 18, 2010, 10:02:12 PM
This was such a no brainer for Apple. North Clyborn is fairly well off and trendy.  A win-win for all as CTA gets a new station, Apple get a new store, CoC looks urban and hip and progressive.

So here a good question for those involved, who is going to "sponsor" a station at 63rd and Halsted????

Everyone has been blocking Wal-Mart from tearing down the worse urban blight in the city, in the poorest and most underserved of areas, but we fall over to let Apple build a store.

It's an odd and interesting irony.

(FYI: In response to Chicago, WalMart is coming out with an 'urban store design', forgoing the big box format that is so loved)

Coolyfett

November 18, 2010, 10:46:54 PM
This was such a no brainer for Apple. North Clyborn is fairly well off and trendy.  A win-win for all as CTA gets a new station, Apple get a new store, CoC looks urban and hip and progressive.

So here a good question for those involved, who is going to "sponsor" a station at 63rd and Halsted????

Everyone has been blocking Wal-Mart from tearing down the worse urban blight in the city, in the poorest and most underserved of areas, but we fall over to let Apple build a store.

It's an odd and interesting irony.

(FYI: In response to Chicago, WalMart is coming out with an 'urban store design', forgoing the big box format that is so loved)



Urban Wal Mart??

thelakelander

November 18, 2010, 10:58:28 PM
Walmart in downtown White Plains, NY



Singejoufflue

November 19, 2010, 12:05:51 AM
Spuwho, I hear you about West/Southside sponsorships...those will fall by the wayside.  I will say though, the Red (South of Roosevelt) and Green line stations never seemed as awful as they were made out to be.  I think the bums enjoyed peeing on the Northside train stations out of spite/principle. 

However, the issue with Wal-Marts in Chicago has not been layout.  They have a big-box store on the Westside (North Ave just east of Cicero) and have two more Southside stores in the works.  However, the issue has been wages and union labor. Target traditionally pays more per hour, even in suburban locations so they got the pass (I think there are 5 stores in Chicago-proper), yet Wal-Mart was being "forced" to pay a living wage of around $13/hr.  The Aldermen were blocking the zoning changes until the wage demands were met.  Toss in the UFCW drama and you've got the stalemate Chicago created for Wallyworld.  When I lived there, I would have given my right arm for (on occassion) a $13/hr job and cheap groceries.  The traditional offerings were abysmal and well-overpriced, even by "city" standards.

spuwho

November 20, 2010, 09:37:20 AM
Spuwho, I hear you about West/Southside sponsorships...those will fall by the wayside.  I will say though, the Red (South of Roosevelt) and Green line stations never seemed as awful as they were made out to be.  I think the bums enjoyed peeing on the Northside train stations out of spite/principle. 

However, the issue with Wal-Marts in Chicago has not been layout.  They have a big-box store on the Westside (North Ave just east of Cicero) and have two more Southside stores in the works.  However, the issue has been wages and union labor. Target traditionally pays more per hour, even in suburban locations so they got the pass (I think there are 5 stores in Chicago-proper), yet Wal-Mart was being "forced" to pay a living wage of around $13/hr.  The Aldermen were blocking the zoning changes until the wage demands were met.  Toss in the UFCW drama and you've got the stalemate Chicago created for Wallyworld.  When I lived there, I would have given my right arm for (on occassion) a $13/hr job and cheap groceries.  The traditional offerings were abysmal and well-overpriced, even by "city" standards.

This is correct, there were wage issues that the local alderman wanted addressed to permit them in underserved areas of Chicago. But prior to that the criticism was all about land use and sizing of the stores.  When that was resolved then the union wage came to light.

Not to stray to far off the thread, but when we put a branch office on 103rd and Stony Island, the locals kept stealing the landscaping within days of it being installed. The next day we would install replacement landscaping and they would be taken before it took root. This went on for several months until finally the trees took root and it was impossible to dig them out anymore and theft stopped.

So if anyone wonders why there is very little landscaping around that Apple Store, it is usually because they can't keep it there very long.

Finally, anyone taking a leak around a CTA station is asking for it. Someone decided to do that off the Harrison Street Bridge on the westside and even though they were a good 35 feet above the third rail, the stream caught the rail, it threw him up in the air and killed him.

Now if Metra can just get WiFi on commuter rail!

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