CHICAGO, June 20, 2012 - The Chicago City Council Committee on Aviation today unanimously approved an ordinance to allow the City to enter into a Cargo Facility Lease Agreement with Aero Chicago, LLC to develop the Chicago O'Hare International Airport Northeast Cargo Center, a major development project that will expand and enhance the efficiency of O'Hare's airport cargo operations and create thousands of new jobs.Aero Chicago is a company related to airport developer Aeroterm LLC and its parent company, CalPERS, the California Public Employees Retirement System.
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 the project's developer, Aeroterm, and more than $62 million of Airport funds. As a compliment to the "Colleges to Careers" program, and the City's new incentive fund to hire City College graduates, Aeroterm has also committed to create a job-training program to train students for skills and careers in the aviation industry. Aeroterm was selected as the project's developer following a comprehensive Request for Proposals process. The ordinance will be considered by the full City Council on June 27, 2012.
"O'Hare is one of our City's key economic engines. This major development will improve O'Hare's infrastructure, increase cargo capacity, enhance our global competitiveness, create thousands of new construction and permanent jobs and increase rent and tax revenue to the airport and to the City," said Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. "The extensive progress we have made on the O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) with new, larger runways andtaxiways will complement this project by allowing the airport to handle the larger, newest generation of B747-8 cargo planes, all of which is good for the airport and good for Chicago's economy."
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.