UPTOWN — The Wilson Station Reconstruction Project is ready for its final phase of renovations, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.
The $203 million project at Broadway and Wilson Avenue in Uptown is 75 percent complete, the city said.
"For the first time in over a century, CTA customers will travel on all new tracks in Uptown since the original elevated structure was built in the 1900s," said CTA President Dorval Carter Jr.
The project is on track to be finished by the end of the year, Carter said.
"When the Wilson project is finished ... it will offer the Uptown neighborhood a modern 21st century station that will serve as a transfer point for both the Red Line and Purple Line trains. Already, this project has spurred economic growth in the neighborhood, including new businesses and construction, demonstrating the importance of transit investments," he said.
The rehab of the station is important not only because close to 50 percent of the residents don't rely on cars, but also because it has attracted business owners and developers to the area, said 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman.
Since the renovation began, Waterton Property Management has started construction of a series of town homes near its property above the Jewel-Osco at 4355 N. Sheridan Road.
Quest Realty Group is building a 33-unit transit-oriented development in the 400 block of North Sheridan Road. Clayco Developers has proposed a transit-oriented development at Sheridan Road and Wilson Avenue.
And there's also a 197-unit transit-oriented development proposed for Broadway and Wilson, Cappleman said.
"Every developer and every new business that comes to this area hands down has told me they came here precisely because of the rehab of this station," Cappleman said. "Uptown is also known for its diversity, and that certainly rings true for all the restaurants that have also come in."
The owners of short-order vegan spot Kal'ish, 1313 W. Wilson Ave., are planning two new restaurants in the same building, including a pizza place. Baker and Nosh is expanding and moving across the street to Wilson and Magnolia avenues.
Beginning Monday, CTA trains will operate on the new elevated tracks as it begins to demolish the last of the old tracks, the city said.
The station will be open for the rest of the year, and customers won't see any changes to Red and Purple Line express train service, the city said.