Sunday, March 8, 2020

Five-Story TOD Planned For Parking Lot Behind Uptown Theatre

The current parking lot behind the Uptown Theatre at Lawrence & Magnolia

The NW corner of Lawrence and Magnolia has been a parking lot for as long as most Uptowners can remember.

The Uptown Post Office once stood on this corner, but it was demolished after the current Uptown Post Office was built in 1939 at 4850 N. Broadway. According the Historic Aerials, the old post office was demolished sometime between 1952 and 1962.

For close to 60 years, nothing has stood on this site except for a parking lot. That's about to change.

The west side of the 4800 block of Magnolia falls into Ald. Matt Martin's 47th ward.

A developer purchased the parking lot last year for $3.4M and JAB Realty plans to build a five-story transit-oriented development (TOD) with a total of 54 residential units (majority of one bedrooms) and retail on the ground floor. According to the 47th ward office, the retail space will be mostly used as offices for JAB Realty.  The lot is zoned B3-3, so it appears that JAB Realty plans to build slightly smaller than would be allowed by existing zoning. Because they are building within the current zoning, they will
I & M Construction will be the general contractor on-site
not need any approval from Ald. Martin.

Construction signage is already up announcing
I & M Construction as the general contractor of the development. Expect to hear the pitter-patter of construction soon as the project has navigated most of the city's building permit hoops.

This development will add great density to the Lawrence corridor, placing another 54 units within easy walking distance of the Red Line and multiple bus lines. Most important, it replaces a surface parking lot with residential units, filling in a gap in the streetscape that has persisted for nearly 60 years, and adds to the local tax rolls.

We have not seen any renderings of the proposed development, but will share as soon as we receive them.


  1. A parking garage seems more appropriate to me, but probably not as lucrative.

    1. I agree...particularly when the Uptown Theater is refurbished the theatergoers will need parking....

  2. Ha, I got a job at the post office when I was 19 years old and do not remember the old post office being there; I could swear that we ran across this lot when we left the Uptown Theater in 1950; I don't remember any building there, ever; strange.

  3. Crazy city planning to add another TOD project to Uptown and to use the only viable parking location for the Uptown theater for housing. No parking. All density. When will the leaders of Uptown put an end to this?

    1. According to the latest building permit, there will be 27 parking spaces on site. Also, can you explain how the "leaders of Uptown" could stop the private sale of a parking lot and the construction of a building that requires no zoning change?

    2. why would anyone defend a parking lot, literally the worst and least sustainable use of land possible. move to the suburbs.