Update #2: Check out "Clout City's" take on the sale of the Uptown Theatre
Update#3: Uptown Theatre Makes The News In The UK
From Chicago Real Estate Daily (Crain’s) — Without any drama, a venture led by concert promoter Jam Productions Ltd. bought the historic Uptown Theatre Tuesday for $3.2 million in a court-ordered foreclosure sale.
Jam principal Jerry Mickelson was the only bidder for the long-vacant theater at 4816 N. Broadway. The sale price was essentially a “credit bid” that covers repayment of about $1.8 million owed on a first mortgage and $1.4 million owed on a second mortgage that’s held by Mr. Mickelson’s group.
Mr. Mickelson, who has said he plans to restore the Uptown, declined comment at the sale.
The property’s ownership has been in dispute, and Mr. Mickelson — in a venture with Block 37 developer Joseph Freed & Associates LLC — began pushing for a foreclosure sale early last year when the venture acquired a defaulted $500,000 second mortgage on the theater.
A court must still approve the sale of the 4,500-seat theater. Mr. Mickelson’s attorney, Todd Rowden of Thompson Coburn Fagel Haber, says he expects there won’t be any objections and that the court will soon approve the sale.
“It went pretty smooth,” Mr. Rowden said after Tuesday’s sale. “Given the publicity, we were expecting some other bids.”
Jam competitors Live Nation Inc. and Madison Square Garden Entertainment both looked into buying the 1925 building, which was originally constructed as a movie palace. Jam in 2006 bought the Riviera Theatre down the street and also owns the Park West in Lincoln Park and the Vic Theatre in Lakeview, all music venues.
In addition to receiving court approval, Mr. Mickelson must also resolve some $1.8 million in liens that the city has against the Uptown related to maintenance work the city performed. That puts the total cost of the theater at roughly $5 million, a fraction of the $40 million that’s estimated to be required to renovate the building that’s lain fallow since closing in 1981.
Mr. Mickelson told the Chicago Tribune in a story published Tuesday that the restoration will require assistance from the city.