Black Ensemble has been utilizing a $5,000,000 grant from Mackenzie Bezos to buy nearby properties. We broke news in July 2021 that BET bought the then under development residential property at 4410 N. Clark, which is now close to occupancy.
This purchase helps BET further anchor in the community and is in line with BET founder and local resident Jackie Taylor's previous interest in buying multiple local properties, including the Somboon Auto repair building at 4501 N. Clark. BET also bought and subsequently demolished the building at 4453 N. Clark in 2019 (currently an empty lot).
Plans are unknown at this time, but we are hoping for a new building at 4453 N. Clark and the soul food restaurant Ms. Taylor has expressed interest in bringing to the community. We think a soul food restaurant would be great for theater patrons and Uptown residents, particularly the many new neighbors coming to adjacent residential developments on Clark Street. Fingers crossed!