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Local News

Joliet considers Union Station lease with federal agency

Union Station in downtown Joliet.
Union Station in downtown Joliet.

JOLIET – A federal government agency is considering a move into Union Station.

The General Services Administration is pursuing office space for a federal agency that could be the first new tenant for Union Station since the city started building a replacement train station. Union Station has been targeted for other uses.

The Joliet City Council Land Use and Legislative Committee on Wednesday reviewed the lease proposal.

Both the full City Council and GSA would have to approve the lease. Union Station is just one option for GSA, said Kendall Jackson, Joliet planning director.

"It's not a done deal at all," Jackson said Tuesday. GSA is shopping for new space for a federal agency now located downtown because its lease is up, he said. Jackson said he could not identify the agency because the Union Station proposal is part of a competitive bidding process.

The GSA lease would cover 1,170 square feet of space last occupied by Bar Blu, a restaurant and bar, but not take the entire space, according to a city memo on the lease.

The space amounts to about a third of what was used by Bar Blu, Jackson said. The city also needs to fill space that was used by Amtrak and a coffee shop before construction began on a new transportation center.

GSA provides products and solicits real estate for other government agencies.

Base rent on the Joliet space is estimated at $1,365 a month, or $14 per square foot, during the first five years of the 10-year lease, according to the city memo. GSA also would pay build-out costs in the first five years. The agency would pay base rent only in the last five years of the lease.

Build-out costs are estimated at $59,670, or $51 per square foot.

This story has been changed to correct the federal agency that will rent the space at the station and to correct the terms of the lease to accurately reflect Joliet's ability to adjust the rent over time. The Herald-News regrets the error.

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