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Apple will spend $4 million to renovate Chicago's North/Halsted triangle

Technically, I've now moved away from Chicago and am living in Los Angeles, but that doesn't mean I'm not still following the brand new Apple store being built at the intersection of North and Halsted in Chicago -- not only is that my old stomping grounds (I used to be a manager at that Borders), but hearing about and seeing the old place makes me a little nostalgic for that toddlin' town I left only a month and a half or so ago. And there's good news for Chicagoans just south of that Clybourne Corridor neighborhood. Apple will be spending a cool $4 million to redevelop the entire triangle, including that dirty old Red Line station sitting there as well (you can't tell, but the pic above is the old gas station that used to be there, with the train station in the background.

In exchange (c'mon, this is Chicago, you didn't think they'd be doing it for free, did you?), Apple gets first naming rights for the station ("iStop" jumps to mind), as well as the chance at advertising in there for 10 years to come, with four more five-year options. But even with those conditions, this is actually great news for that whole area -- it's been on the cusp of getting really busy (it's just a city block north of the old derelict Cabrini Green neighborhood) for a while now, and an Apple store with a brand new El stop certainly won't hurt. I'll have to make sure and take a trip back -- they're saying the triangular store could be open as soon as Fall 2010. There's an excellent Italian place just under the Brown line track across from the Steppenwolf just north on Halsted, too. Ah, memories.

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