Emanuel announces Green Line station fixes, home rehab projects

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday announced a $50 million project to improve the Garfield Green Line station and a pilot program to renovate about 50 homes in certain neighborhoods where investment is lacking.

The Green Line project will include installation of public art, landscaping enhancement, an extension of platform canopies to provide more shelter and elevator and escalator improvements, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

“The investments we make in local transit are investments in our neighborhoods,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a news release. “This project will create an iconic gateway to the Washington Park community; further complimenting the larger neighborhood redevelopment initiatives currently underway while enhancing the overall commuter experience.”

New benches, bike lanes and improved pedestrian crossing will also be added to aid commuters. The CTA expects to begin work on the Garfield Gateway project in 2018.

The project will also rehabilitate the original Garfield station that is no longer in use by customers. The stationhouse, which received landmark status from the city in 2001, will be restored and be available for a public use, such as a community space.

Emanuel also announced a pilot program to acquire and rehabilitate vacant homes in neighborhoods that lack investment and jobs.

“The program will work with community partners to facilitate acquisition of the properties, finance the renovations, and generate employment opportunities for at-risk youth to maintain the homes until they are rehabilitated and sold,” the mayor’s office said.

The program will invest $2 million in a capital fund for neighborhood contractors, investors and developers to rehab vacant homes.

Emanuel expects the program to create about 200 jobs renovating an estimated 50 single-family or two-flat homes in target areas.