|The press conference in the theater's lobby on June 28, 2018, when the happy news was announced by Ald. Cappleman and Mayor Emanuel that the Uptown Theatre would be restored|
The Uptown Theatre easily passed yet another hurdle on Wednesday at the City Council meeting. With the red tape melting away like icicles in July, it looks hopeful that the grand old theater will begin its long-awaited rehabilitation and restoration late this summer, as planned.
Ald. Cappleman tweeted:
"Had full City Council support today authorizing DPD to enter into and execute a Redevelopment Agreement with the Uptown Theatre owner. We are on our way to creating more jobs and economic development for the Entertainment District!"The City released its own statement, saying:
"City Incentives Approved For Two Theater Restoration Projects
The rehabilitation of the historic Uptown Theatre in Uptown and the Congress Theater in Logan Square will be supported through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance approved today by City Council.
Uptown Theatre, 4816 N. Broadway: The $75 million project by Jam Productions and Fairpoint Development will be assisted with up to $13 million in TIF to help pay for comprehensive restoration work involving decorative interior finishes, new seats, a reconfigured main floor to increase capacity to 5,800 people, new elevators, modern concession facilities, updated mechanical systems, and exterior improvements that will include new marquees.
Additional City support will include a Class L property tax incentive valued at $2.2 million over 12 years; $3 million in Adopt-a-Landmark Funds; and the sale of a City-owned parking lots at 1130 W. Lawrence Ave. to the development team for $1.
The theater, designed by architects Rapp and Rapp for operator Balaban and Katz Corp., was used for stage shows, movies and concerts before it closed in 1981. It was designated a Chicago landmark in 1991. The project is expected to generate up to 195 full-and part-time jobs and more than 200 construction jobs."(The TIF funds will be generated by the Lawrence/Broadway TIF, which was created in 2001 by then-aldermen Mary Ann Smith and Helen Shiller for the purpose of creating new parking, housing, and retail; and "the promotion of the Broadway-Lawrence intersection as a center for entertainment and performing arts.". In the past, its funds have gone to restore the Heartland Alliance building at 1201-13 Leland, to create the Gunnison Lofts (did you know that Fat Cat used to be an abandoned mattress store?), to restore the Uptown Broadway Building, and to restore the "Goldblatt's Building," now home to Huntington Bank and First Ascent.)