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Fate Of Rail Station Under James R. Thompson Center Remains Unclear

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Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to sell the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to know the state's plans for the rail stop underneath it.

The station at Clark and Lake streets includes stops on the Blue, Brown, Green, Orange and Purple train lines.

"I’m not gonna stick that on Chicago taxpayers," Emanuel said.  He argues the developer or state government should foot the bill. 

A Rauner spokeswoman says the state always has wanted to partner with the city on the project.

Nearly 5.5 million passengers pass through the station every year, according to the most recent CTA ridership survey released in November 2016. If the station goes away, the mayor estimates a replacement could cost $80 million to 1$20 million.

Ald. Brendan Reilly, whose ward is in Chicago’s downtown, says another complication of the sale is the current zoning of the Thompson Center site.

Reilly says he’s hesitant about allowing a bigger building to replace the Thompson Center, because he doesn't want downtown to become too crowded.