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CHICAGO-A 600,000-sf building housing various federal agencies will undergo a $50-million renovation later this year, making room for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to move from cramped quarters in the Central Loop. Work begins in September, with completion of the project expected by December 2005, according to General Services Administration officials.

The work will include a glass curtain-wall facing Congress Parkway, replacing a concrete wall that has been covered with stucco, General Services Administration building administrator J. David Hood told the Friends of Chicago and Union League Club Thursday morning. Construction manager Stephen Carbery added that the northern front of the building also will include a covered area so early arrivals do not have to stand outside in the elements.

Now, immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship are often lined up outside 10 W. Jackson St., waiting to get into the INS’ cramped quarters upstairs.

The project at the South Loop building, a former Rand McNally printing plant, includes closing LaSalle Street on the western side to allow for a driveway to be used by the INS for another task—deportations. That required permission is needed from the city as well as Higgins Development, which has plans for the site on the other side of LaSalle Street, Hood says. In addition, a Metra commuter rail terminal is a block north.

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