City Incentives Approved For Two Theater Restoration Projects

March 13, 2019


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.

Congress Theater, 2100 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The $69.2 million project by New Congress LLC will utilize up to $9.65 million in TIF to restore the mixed-use building into a 4,500-seat music venue, a 30-room boutique hotel, 14 affordable apartments, and 16,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. The rehabilitated and new spaces will create up to 75 permanent jobs. Designed by Fridstein & Co., the building opened in 1926. The theater portion closed in 2013. It was designated as an official City landmark in 2013. The assistance will also support the developer’s planned 72-unit residential building on adjacent land that will be 30 percent affordable. Approximately 250 construction projects will be generated by the two-phase project.


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