The Chicago City Council has approved the redevelopment plans for The Forum, located at 318 E 43rd Street in Bronzeville. Located adjacent to the 43rd CTA L station, the Forum building sits on a corner lot at the intersection of E 43rd Street and S Calumet Avenue. The development effort is being led by Bernard Loyd of Urban Juncture.
Built originally in 1897, The Forum was once an entertainment venue for artists and musicians of Chicago’s Black community. The restoration of the Forum structure seeks to return the 19th-century building to its roots as a performance venue, providing a banquet hall, retail, and restaurant space. The plan will include incubator space for Black creatives.
Previously zoned as RM-5, Residential Multi-Unit District, the new rezoning positions the property as B3-2, Community Shopping District, which allows for commercial and non-residential uses on the site.
According to a report by Block Club Chicago, the redevelopment plan is expected to cost at least $20 million, with Bernard Loyd seeking multiple avenues to raise the funds to offset the costs. A $250,000 grant will allow for the continuation of work on the structure, while an active fundraising campaign is underway to pay for roof repairs. Rehabilitation of the West Annex portion is expected to be completed by 2022.