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Union Pacific Railroad Buys Vacant Brach's Candy Plant Site In Austin

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401 North Cicero Ave., Chicago
This 29-acre site at 401 North Cicero used to be home to the Brach's candy plant. It is now vacant.

The West Side property once home to the largest candy plant in the U.S. has a new owner. Union Pacific Railroad bought the 29-acre Brach's candy plant site in Austin from ML Realty Partners for $12.2M, Crain's Chicago Business reports.

The site has been vacant since Brach's shuttered the plant in 2004. After unsuccessful negotiations on how to repurpose the plant, the buildings were destroyed in two phases. In 2007, director Christopher Nolan used part of the site as Gotham Hospital in "The Dark Knight" movie. The remaining structures were razed in 2014.

ML Realty bought the site for $2.9M in 2008 and proposed a 521K SF industrial project. It received approval and a $10.M tax incentive to pay for it, but never broke ground.

The site has potential as an industrial or logistics hub. It is one mile north of the Eisenhower Expressway, and interest in Austin and other Far West Side neighborhoods is increasing as Fulton Market meatpackers and industrial tenants continue to sell their buildings at premiums. Union Pacific, which has tracks bounding the site's north and south ends, did not offer specifics on its plans.