Theater project to feature hotel, apartments
by BRIAN NADIG
The redevelopment of the 92-year-old Congress Theater, 2117 N. Milwaukee Ave., would include a 50-room hotel and 14 apartments under a proposal approved by the Chicago Plan Commission at its Dec. 20 meeting.
The $95 million project also would include the construction of a seven-story, mixed-use building with 72 residential units on a vacant lot along the west side of North Rockwell Street, across from the theater.
The development would be completed in two phases, with the renovation of the theater building in the first phase.
Alderman Joe Moreno (1st) said that the theater was like "the wild, wild west" before it closed several years ago for licensing and building code issues and that its renovation is long overdue.
"This gem needs a lot of polishing," Moreno said.
Plans call for 30 percent of the project’s apartments to qualify as affordable (below-market rate) housing, Moreno said. Those units would be divided equally among households in the following three categories: 1/3 for tenants earning up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income, 1/3 for tenants up to 60 percent of the AMI and 1/3 to 80 percent AMI.
The project also calls for 80 percent of the project’s retail space to be leased to Chicago-owned businesses. That can include locally owned franchises that have no more than 20 locations.
SHOWN Above is a rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Congress Theater, 2117 N. Milwaukee Ave. The theater would be renovated in the first of two phases. The plan would feature a hotel and apartments.