Who Has Designs On Midway Airport?

April 1, 2008

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The City of Chicago today will pull back the curtain on who wants to buy Midway airport.

Investment and management companies could be putting real money on the line for Midway Airport, at least $2 billion. What could they want in return?

Well, Barnes and Thornburg business partner Larry Blust has worked on large privatization plans, and he has this guess:

BLUST: One of the biggest things at an airport today is actually the ancillary retail and restraining - the amenities of an airport, with people have to spend a lot more time at airports. They're captives of the situation of security.

Blust says if someone wins a bid for Midway, they'll be under pressure to attract up-scale restaurants and retailers.

The City of Chicago expects to close a deal within a year. Proceeds could shore-up Chicago's public pension system and capital projects such as public libraries.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.