TIF Proposed for Congress Theater Restoration in Logan Square

March 15, 2023


The historic Congress Theater mixed-use complex in Logan Square would be restored as a state-of-the-art live performance venue with ancillary residential and commercial spaces through $27 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance proposed to City Council today by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

The $87.8 million project at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. by BR Congress and Congress Theater NFP would reopen the building’s auditorium, which was closed in 2013 due to building code violations, as a 4,900-seat music venue. The project would also revitalize approximately 5,400 square feet of ground floor commercial space along Milwaukee and Rockwell avenues and rehabilitate 16 second- and third-floor residential units, 14 of which will be rented at affordable levels.

Theater operations would be administered by Anshutz Entertainment Group (AEG). AEG, the current owner of the property, would transfer the theater to the developer as an in-kind contribution.

The project is expected to create 125 permanent full-time jobs and 200 construction jobs. Financing will include more than $9M in federal historic tax credits, $16 million in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) proceeds, developer equity, bank debt, and other sources.

BR Congress and Congress Theater NFP are entities created by Baum Revision, a Chicago-based real estate developer.

The Congress Theater complex was constructed in 1926 by Fridstein and Co. in the Classical Revival and Italian Renaissance styles. It was designated an official Chicago landmark in 2002.

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