updated 03:25 pm EDT, Mon October 26, 2009
Renovation meant to aid new Apple Store
Apple has agreed to spend over $4 million on renovating a Chicago subway station, according to Chicago Business. The station is situated near the intersection of North and Clybourn, where Apple is set to build another retail store for the city, measuring some 15,000 square feet with design by long-time partner Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. The lease on the real estate is expected to cost Apple at least $700,000 annually.
The company's interest in funding the renovations is said to lay not in charity, but in attracting visitors by improving the outward appearance of the surrounding neighborhood. Apple has also secured the rights to buy all advertising space at the station, as well as claim first refusal on buying a name, should the Chicago Transit Authority decide to sell one. The CTA is believed to be allowing the transaction as means of avoiding fare hikes or service cuts, which could be enacted in order to cover a projected 2010 budget deficit of $178 million.
Few dramatic changes are expected to be made to the station, which was originally built in the 1940s. The one exception is an abandoned bus lane between the station and the upcoming Apple Store, which will be turned into an open, landscaped space. Apple is said to be working directly with the CTA on changes.