Press

Trust Wins CDFA Excellence Award for Municipal Buildings Retrofit

The Illinois chapter of the Council of Development Finance Agencies (“CDFA”) has bestowed the Chicago Infrastructure Trust with an Excellence Award related to the Municipal Buildings Retrofit initiative.

“Each year CDFA is proud to honor excellence in development finance. The work of our award winners is cutting-edge, innovative, and an example of best practices in our industry,” said Toby Rittner, CDFA President & CEO.

Through an innovative, tax-exempt Energy Services Agreement (“ESA”) deal, structured by the Trust, 60 City buildings across 36 Wards are nearing completion of transformative energy conservation upgrades at no upfront cost to the City of Chicago. 

The CDFA Illinois Financing Roundtable Excellence Awards recognize outstanding development finance programs, agencies, projects, and success stories. These awards, presented at the CDFA Illinois Financing Roundtable Conference, honor excellence in the use of financing tools for economic development, as well as the individuals who champion those efforts.

The complete CDFA press release is available here.

Municipal Buildings Retrofit Wins Energy Efficiency Award

The Municipal Buildings Retrofit, as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda, has been awarded the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (MEEA) 2015 Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award.

“Retrofit Chicago strengthens Chicago by accelerating energy efficiency across the city,” said Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer with the City of Chicago. “Retrofit Chicago works with multiple partners to make it easier for residents and businesses to access the resources they need to make their homes and businesses more efficient, saving dollars and reducing emissions.”

“Mayor Emanuel has a bold vision for the role energy efficiency plays in helping to make Chicago a more affordable, competitive, attractive, livable and sustainable city,” said Stacey Paradis, MEEA interim executive director. “MEEA is pleased to recognize the City of Chicago and Retrofit Chicago for its successful, cross-sector approach to improving energy efficiency.”

Bestowed annually at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, MEEA’s Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award is presented to an organization that has made a significant contribution to market transformation either through the implementation of a specific program or through a policy change.

The full press release is available here.

Trust Brokers $32.5M 4G Deal on CTA’s Behalf

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced a $32.5 million deal, brokered by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, with America’s four major wireless providers – T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint – to finance a network modernization project for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to upgrade the wireless network in the City’s subway system. T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have collectively agreed to fund the entire upgrade related to the design and construction of a next-generation Distributed Antenna System (DAS) capable of supporting the latest 4G wireless networks and mobile devices.

“By adding 4G wireless service all throughout the CTA, we are bringing 21st century technology to every rider on every line of our 21st century transit system,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This is another way that we are investing in a modern CTA to encourage ridership, make Chicago more economically competitive, and open up more economic opportunities to more residents throughout the city.”

The network upgrade, which began earlier this month, will help improve first responder communications throughout the tunnel system, while also giving the millions of Chicago subway riders the opportunity to have a faster mobile experience throughout their commutes. The design and installation of the system will create approximately 50 jobs.

“The current wireless technology in Chicago’s subway system dates back ten years, predating most smartphones and many mobile devices,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile, the project’s lead wireless provider. “On behalf of the four national wireless providers, we, along with the CTA, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, are thrilled to bring the millions of Chicago subway riders the benefits of an improved wireless experience and we are committed to a strong partnership and successful implementation.”

Upon completion of the network upgrade, which is expected by the end of 2015, the City of Chicago will be the largest city in North America to have a subway system with full 4G wireless coverage across its entire system of subway stations and tunnels. Specifically, there will be continuous 4G coverage crossing 22 miles from O’Hare airport through the underground tunnels and platforms of the Red and Blue Lines, the CTA’s two busiest rail lines.

“The network modernization project not only improves our commuters’ experience by offering faster and more robust wireless services that supports today’s tablets and smartphones, but it also increases system safety measures by providing more reliable communication between CTA personnel and emergency responders,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

This initiative is one of several efforts by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Claypool to modernize the City’s infrastructure and further improve Chicago’s world-class transit system. Over the past three years, several technology improvements have been implemented across Chicago’s transit system, including expansion of Train Tracker and Bus Tracker functionality, digital information and train tracker screens at rail stations, and a dramatically expanded security camera network.

About the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
The CTA operates the nation’s second largest public transportation system and covers the City of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, approximately 1.7 million rides are taken on the CTA.

About the Chicago Infrastructure Trust
The Chicago Infrastructure Trust was created in April 2012 by executive order of Mayor Emanuel and City Council resolution. The Trust’s purpose is to assist the people of the City of Chicago, the City government and its sister agencies in providing alternative financing and project delivery options for transformative infrastructure projects. Visit the Trust’s website at www.shapechicago.org.

 

A link to the Mayor’ press release is available here.