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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Residential Tower Proposed Next To Congress Theater Shrinks After Neighbors Object

The new proposal calls for a seven-story tower with 72 apartments, which is significantly smaller than what was proposed in September.

An earlier rendering of the tower proposed for the lot just north of the Congress Theater.
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LOGAN SQUARE — The developer behind the $69 million Congress Theater rehab project has made significant changes to the residential tower he’s proposing to build next door. 

The new proposal calls for a seven-story tower with 72 apartments and ground-floor retail on the vacant lot just north of the Congress, according to a flier distributed by zoning attorney Rolando Acosta.

That’s significantly smaller than what developer Michael Moyer proposed in September, when he pitched the impacted neighborhood group, Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association, and other residents. That proposal called for a 10-story tower with 117 apartments.

Neighbors will get a chance to weigh in on the latest proposal at a community meeting set for Monday at Haas Park Fieldhouse at 2402 N. Washtenaw Ave., beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Moyer didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

RELATED: Congress Theater Rehab Won’t Happen Until 10-Story Tower Gets Built Next Door, Developer Says

The tower has been a part of Moyer’s overall vision for the Congress Theater rehab project since 2016, when he filed a zoning application with the city. But details didn’t emerge until September.

The 10-story proposal didn’t go over well with neighbors at a meeting in September.

At the meeting, Sally Hamann, a member of Greather Goethe Neighborhood Association, was concerned families are being forced out of the neighborhood at “an astronomical rate.”

“While we’ve had a lot of redevelopment, they’re almost all very small studios. What we really need are two-, three- and four-bedroom units suitable for families that are being forced out in this neighborhood,” Hamann said in September.

After the tense meeting, Moyer told Block Club the Congress Theater rehab, which has been underway for more than a year, depends on the money generated from the tower. 

“Everything stops if this tower doesn’t get built,” Moyer said. 

The rehab project calls for a total overhaul of the notoriously rundown yet historic theater at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. and the construction of a 30-room hotel, 14 affordable apartments and 16,000 square feet of retail space in the surrounding 160,000-square-foot theater building.

The city approved the allocation of $9.7 million in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) funds toward the project this summer.

The community meeting flier.

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