February 03, 2001

ATA confirms plans to construct $98 million facility near Midway

Saturday, February 3, 2001

American Trans Air officials Friday unveiled plans to build a $98 million training facility adjacent to Midway Airport.

The proposal, which was reported last week, calls for the former Sears warehouse at 53rd Street and Cicero Avenue to be converted into a hotel and restaurant, with an adjacent 200,000-square-foot facility to house the Indianapolis-based airline's training programs.

The project is expected to create 2,500 jobs in the next four years.

If an economic incentive package is approved by the Chicago City Council, ATA will be eligible for about $24.5 million in tax breaks from the city. The city would agree to issue up to $70 million in tax-exempt bonds to help fund construction.

The state also would designate ATA as a "high-impact business," which qualifies it for about $3 million in tax credits.

The project, which must be approved by the council, is expected to bring a major boost to Chicago's Southwest Side.

"So, I can just see since this announcement that some of the hopes we have for Cicero Avenue and 47th street and Archer avenue are likely to start happening," Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd) said.

Mark J. Konkol

[Chicago ATC News]