“A plan to free up a big chunk of city funding for the long-delayed redevelopment of the Congress Theater is headed to the City Council for final approval.
“The city’s Community Development Commission approved allocating $20 million in Tax Increment Finance dollars toward the $70.4 million restoration of the historic theater at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., and the surrounding apartments and retail. The city board signed off on the funding Tuesday with no debate.
Developer Baum Revision is leading the project. Baum has experience renovating historic buildings in the area including the Green Exchange and Margies Candies buildings. It’s part of the development team renovating the Ramova Theater in Bridgeport, another 1920s theater that has sat vacant for years.
“Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st), who represents the area where the Congress is located and has long pushed for it to be redeveloped, was effusive about Baum’s project at Tuesday’s hearing. He said it will not only bring the historic music venue back to life, but it will also provide housing and commercial space to locals at risk of being displaced from gentrifying Logan Square.
“Baum plans to give the entire Congress building a facelift and carve out 20 apartments — 14 of them affordable for people earning 40-80 percent of the area median income — as well as affordable commercial space for local nonprofits and artists, and retail and restaurant space.
“The Congress Theater has sat empty since 2013, when the city shut down the 1920s venue following a string of code violations and crimes that occurred in and around the theater during shows.” (Bloom, Block Club Chicago, 3/8/22)
Congress Theater Redevelopment Moves A Step Closer To Getting $20 Million Boost From City; Local developer Baum Revision is pursuing a $70.4 million restoration of the historic theater and the surrounding apartments and retail, but it needs significant financial support to make the project a reality, Mina Bloom, Block Club Chicago, 3/8/22
City panel approves $20 million subsidy for Congress Theater project in Logan Square; The tax-increment financing would reboot a major redevelopment of the property, which landed in foreclosure in 2020, Alby Gallun, Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/8/22