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CHICAGO-Prime Group Realty Trust will seek tax increment financing of up to $17.5 million to help build its proposed $220-million addition to Union Station, an attorney revealed recently. Plan commission members have recommended approval of the project, which was originally envisioned when Daniel Burnham designed it.

Attorney Rick Wendy says the developer is working with department of planning and development officials on a TIF application. It would go to the city’s community development commission for a recommendation.

Various plans to complete the work Burnham had in mind have been thwarted by economic downturns and developers’ inability to pull off the project. Renowned architect Lucien Lagrange’s plans had to go to city officials because they differed substantially from plans approved by the city council in 1985, says assistant commissioner Jack Swenson.

Prime Group’s plans include 480,000 sf of office space built around an atrium that would preserve the Great Hall’s skylight, 400 hotel rooms with a 35,000-sf conference center, 200 condominiums and 65,000 sf of retail space. “We are working on a capital structure as we have for our larger structures, such as 77 W. Wacker,” says executive vice president Don Faloon, adding financing should be in place by the end of the year. He adds construction could start in next year’s second quarter.

The only objection to the plan came from a hotel union official who notes that Hilton operates three properties Downtown that are non-union. Alderman Burton Natarus countered the project would be built with union labor.

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