Commission okays addition to church
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago Plan Commission at its Dec. 20 meeting approved a plan to build a five-story addition to the former Belpark Theater at 3231 N. Cicero Ave., now home to the Chicago Tabernacle of the Assemblies of God.
The church acquired the Belpark in 2014 after it had first considered buying the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave., which has been closed since early 2018 and is expected to be renovated by its new owner.
The Belpark operated as a movie theater for about 30 years and was later used as a bingo hall.
Tabernacle officials have said that a former theater is a good fit for the church because of its focus on music and theatrical productions.
The exterior of the five-story addition, which would be constructed on an existing parking lot along the north side of the theater, would feature a glass curtain wall on the upper three floors and brick and glass on the first two floors. The addition would house a community center with a gymnasium and a youth activity room.
Also planned is the construction of a new three-story medical services building with 28 basement parking spaces behind the property’s storefronts along Cicero. No changes are planned to the existing 42 apartments on the second and third floors above the commercial space.
The project’s estimated cost is $28 million.
SHOWN ABOVE IS a rendering of a plan to build a five-story addition to the former Belpark Theater, 3231 N Cicero Ave., which now houses the Chicago Tabernacle of the Assemblies of God.