Friday, January 18, 2013

Former TCF Bank / Wilson Avenue Theater Sold

The former Wilson Avenue Theater/TCF Bank at 1050 W Wilson has been empty since autumn 2011, and on the market longer than that, but this week it was bought for $625,000 by Cedar Street Co., the developers behind FLATS.

We had nightmare visions of the century-old theater clad in a coat of battleship grey paint, but it seems instead that it's been bought as an investment while real estate prices are reasonable.  According to Illinois Real Estate Journal,

"Cedar Street Co. has acquired 1050 W. Wilson in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. The building was purchased for $625,000 and financed by First Bank & Trust Co. of Illinois.

Located at the corner of Wilson and Kenmore avenues, the three-story, 15,000-square-foot building on .23 acres was built in 1908 and is a large part of Uptown’s historic landscape once being a theatre and bank. Cedar Street Co. is seeking to secure a unique tenant that not only respects the grandeur of the space, but also adds value to the Uptown community."

For those concerned with the pace of construction of the FLATS buildings around Uptown, the article goes on to talk about some refinancing Cedar Street has done to advance the FLATS Chicago development process.


  1. 1.) I hope this get develops a lot faster than their 'headquarters' building at Broadway and Sunnyside. THAT was supposed to be completed, according to them, in December. I have seen zero work being done since their big grand opening back in September. Not a good sign..
    2.) I hope they dont' paint it Prison Gray like the rest of their buildings.
    3.) This is in a TIF zone so I hope they plan on including community input.

  2. I'm breathing easier, thank God we've been saved from the grey. the new owners -- PLEASE don't paint over the magnificent Trompe-l'œil on the eastern wall, it's an Uptown treasure!

  3. I had heard a rumor that it was suppose to have become a Traders Joe. So much for hopeful rumors.
    They should just restore it to a small concert theater or for some theatrical plays.

  4. Wow, that's a good price! I'm pretty excited about this. I've met the FLATS developers and they're pretty nice guys with a positive vision. They want to make Uptown a classy place where people will want to live, work and play. If more people want to live in our neighborhood that increases property values. That increased demand/value means more jobs and less derelict buildings. And remember: derelict buildings and having jobs are gang member’s worst enemy.

  5. Will 1325 W. Wilson get the Prison Gray treatment? What other buildings are gray other than the formerly grand one Magnolia & Gunnison?

  6. What about those renderings from a couple years ago showing a one-story building next door with a restaurant and rooftop deck? I know those were just concepts, but who made them and for what reason?


  8. Re: Alek's link - It's about time Uptown relinquished some of it's low-income housing to renovated market rate apartments... and houses a level that is in balance to the rest of the city.

    FLATS is doing these neighborhoods a great service by purchasing uncared for and problem buildings, renovating them and attracting young renters. If FLATS chooses to paint their properties gray to align with their target market and their vision, so be it. With the exception of this current acquisition - none of their apartment buildings have any great architectural significance... if anything, this process is making these properties MORE interesting by painting the brick and preserving and highlighting the unique architectural trim and details!

  9. @:

    WOW. Are these ONE people serious?

    “Affordable housing proponents at the meeting accused FLATS of hurting economic and ethnic diversity in the neighborhood and said that more than 1,200 units that had been affordable would be lost.”
    - First: There is 40% affordable/Section 8 housing in Uptown. That’s far above the federal government’s recommendation for an area to have. Second: How is creating jobs and a nice, safer neighborhood hurting economic and ethnic diversity?

    “It didn't sit well with Michael. He said later Thursday night that he and his company would never communicate with ONE again.”
    - ONE is a corrupt, evil organization filled with self-indulged lunatics that needs to be dismantled. I’m glad he’s not giving them the time of day anymore.

    “Michael "wants to maximize his profits, and doesn't care about any kind of balance," she said.”
    - Duh, he’s a developer. If you’re looking for Jesus, stay in your church.

    Hey ONE, STFU

  10. I have serious reservations about FLATS and I've voiced them here before but none of them have anything to do with the imaginary lack of affordable housing in Uptown. ONE can take a hike...and Cedar St / FLATS should get their you know what together.

  11. This building would be perfect for a new Theatre company.

  12. We have to show support to these new developers that are helping Uptown become a better neighborhood. You know ONE is going to show up to JDL's next meeting about Merryville's plans. I just hope they take the same approach as Flats and just ignore these freaks! Uptown has more than enough affordable housing so they just need to STFU!!! I just can't stand these idiots who can't support the bettering of neighborhoods in much need of help. People please come out to support JDL and let them know that there is many of us who want to see this beautiful building be built without letting these bullies having any say so in the matter!!!

  13. So glad there is so much support for FLATS with this ONE lunacy! I really hope they don't get scared away from Uptown, we need more renovated buildings!

  14. I am crossing my fingers that JDL raises the height a few more floors so the building displays a greater visual presence over the building directly South.

    The townhomes on the base level remind me of Aqua in Lakeshore East. Many people are unaware of the townhomes incorporated into the structure.

    I find large bases on skinny towers unattractive, but this element creates more harmony with the street level. It is much better than a giant parking structure wall!

  15. How would one find out specifically where ONE gets its funding? Is it an FOIA exercise? I assume as it is a non-profit there has to be paperwork filed somewhere that is available to the public..

  16. Superhero - You can check - Form 990.

  17. O.N.E.'s funders are listed on their website:

    - Weiboldt Foundation
    - Polk Brothers Foundation
    - Woods Fund of Chicago
    - United Way (ugh - think of that the next time you donate to them...)
    - Communities for Public Education Reform

    They of course have individuals who donate to them.

    Luckily Uptown now has an alderman who won't cater to their bullying techniques. They will continue making asses out of themselves and seal their own fate. But going after their funding in the meantime wouldn't hurt....

  18. Also, check out their list of members. Think twice before you support any of these organizations as well:

  19. Agree it's time for Uptown to support development and move forward. ONE and others that want to hinder progress need to move on.

  20. Does anyone know the artist for the mural on this building? I've been looking around and can't find any information on it.

  21. This building would be a prime location for an entertainment night club ... When the entertainment district comes to light.