A new developer has taken over the Congress Theater redevelopment plan and intends to break ground by the end of the year. Located at 2135 N Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square, the historic Congress Theater sits at the corner of N Milwaukee Avenue and N Rockwell Street. Baum Revision is the new developer, taking over after the previous developer couldn’t finance the project.
Designed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects, the plan for the rehabilitation remains unchanged from the previous ownership, including a full historic restoration to the theater, retail, and housing space. Work will restore the existing finishes without altering the layout or organization of rooms within the structure. The renovation will upgrade all of the mechanicals of the structure, including ventilation, electrical, plumbing, and the roof. New windows will be installed that will match the character of the original windows.
Beyond the theater, the property fronts the street with ground-floor retail and two levels of residential and hotel space. Storefronts will be renovated and made to match the original storefront layouts. Fourteen affordable apartments will be produced out of the existing rooms, all studios measuring 420 square feet.
A separate hotel portion will also be located within the building, comprising between 35 and 50 rooms which will also be historically renovated and preserved. The developers are currently in discussion with different hotel operators. No parking will be included within the development.
The theater is already a Chicago landmark and the developer plans to seek its designation to the National Register of Historic Places. The development scheme has already secured approvals from the Chicago Plan Commission under the previous developer and only needs to receive approval for a yet-to-be decided amount of Tax Increment Financing money. Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year with an 18 month to two-year construction period. Completion is anticipated for the summer of 2023.