THREATENED: Uptown Theatre Restoration Stalled

“The guardians and custodians of the treasure are nervous. They have cause. They have been betrayed many times before.

“In June, 2018, the City of Chicago announced a $75 million plan to restore the Uptown Theatre, an incomparable 1925 movie palace and resplendent anchor of the Uptown neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. That November, Chicago’s Community Development Commission was told that construction was expected to begin at 4816 N. Broadway the following summer.

“The summer of 2019 has come and gone. No work has begun. And the preservationist volunteers who famously fight for the Uptown and constantly communicate with each other (and the news media) have been wondering what, or what not, transpires.

“The delay, says Jerry Mickelson of Jam Productions, who owns the Uptown and is in the driving seat of the renovation, along with his partner Scott Goodman of Farpoint Development, involves the financing of the project.

“The Uptown deal was done in a piecemeal way: public funding included $14 million in financing through the State of Illinois’ Property Assessed Clean Energy Act; $13 million in tax-increment financing; $10 million in Build Illinois bond funding; $8.7 million in federal tax credits; and $3.7 million in the City of Chicago’s Adopt-a-Landmark funds. Those funds are allocated and approved. The issue is the remaining $26 million needed to finish the job, which were supposed to be a mixture of loans and investments. At the time of the announcement, that money was not yet in place. It’s still not in placeIn a nutshell, that is the hold up.” (Jones, 11/7/19)

Read the full story at the Chicago Tribune

Column: Uptown Theatre restoration has stalled, it needs a kickstart from our new mayor, Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 11/7/19

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