May 14, 2012

Mayor Emanuel Announces Major Cargo Project at O'Hare International Airport

Redevelopment Project Will Create More than 11,000 Permanent Jobs, Job Training Program and Provide Approximately $600 million in Direct Economic Benefit to the Airport; Will Help O’Hare Grow Its Position As One of the World’s Largest Air Cargo Hubs

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CO'Hare AnnouncementHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the City of Chicago has reached an agreement with a developer, Aeroterm LLC, to begin the construction of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Northeast Cargo Center, a massive development project that will expand and enhance the efficiency of O’Hare’s airport cargo operations.

The nearly $200 million project is expected to create 1,200 construction jobs, 1,200 permanent on-site cargo jobs and 10,000 regional jobs related to this development, and will provide approximately $600 million in economic benefits to the airport over the life of the agreement at no cost to Chicago taxpayers. The project will be funded by a $130 million investment by Aeroterm and more than $62 million of Airport funds.

“O'Hare is one of our City's key economic engines and this project will vastly increase O’Hare’s cargo operations capacity, create thousands of quality jobs for Chicagoans, and increase Chicago’s competitive position as a global transportation and cargo leader,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

As a compliment to the “Colleges to Careers” program, and the City’s new incentive fund to hire City College graduates, Aeroterm has committed to create a job-training program to train students for skills and careers in the aviation industry.

“We are so pleased to announce this significant collateral development at O’Hare,” said CDA Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. “The extensive progress we’ve been able to make on the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) has paved the way for this project to commence, with new, larger runways and taxiways that allow the airport to handle the larger, newest generation of B747-8 cargo planes. Because of our successful efforts, Chicago and O’Hare are able to better serve existing cargo carriers and attract new cargo service, which will boost Chicago’s position as an international air freight hub.”

The site to be developed is located on the northeast quadrant of O’Hare International Airport, in an area generally bounded by Johnson Road to the north, Patton Drive to the east and Runway 4L/22R to the west and the new general aviation ramp to the south.

The Northeast Cargo Center will be built in three phases on approximately 65 acres of undeveloped property. The first phase includes construction of a building with cargo and office space and a new taxiway connecting the development with the rest of the airport. Subsequent phases will include construction of additional buildings with cargo and office space. All aspects of the development will incorporate green planning, design and construction practices under the guidelines of the CDA Sustainable Airport Manual, including buildings planned to achieve LEED certification and feature green roof space.

Chicago is the leading national gateway for air exports to China, representing more than 25 percent of the entire market (JFK and LAX respective traffic are just over half that of Chicago’s). In 2010, Chicago passed LAX as the #1 gateway for air imports from China.

A lease agreement between the City of Chicago and Aeroterm, which was selected during a thorough Request for Proposals process, will be submitted in June to the City Council for approval.


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