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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Double Door’s Proposed New Site Gets Updated Plans, Including 110 Apartments Next Door

Plans submitted to the city don't mention the Double Door by name, but a rezoning would allow for the use of a "theater" at the site.

The proposed home of the Double Door music venue would neighbor a to-be-built apartment building.
Courtesy 46th Ward Office
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UPTOWN — A prolific Uptown development firm this week submitted new plans for the site that would house the relocated Double Door theater, including an updated proposal for an apartment complex set to rise in the neighboring parking lot.

Cedar Street’s development includes the Wilson Theater, which would be renovated to become the new home of the Double Door. The iconic rock club left its Wicker Park location in 2017. That Milwaukee Avenue site has since been turned into a Yeti retail store.

Cedar Street on Wednesday gave the city updated site plans for its property at 1038-1054 W. Wilson Ave. The developers are asking the city for approval to house a “theater” in the existing building and build an eight-story apartment building on the parking lot, according to the updated site plans.

The “planned development” application does not mention the Double Door by name, though it says an approved rezoning of the property would allow for a theater use at the site.

Sean Mulroney, co-owner of the Double Door, said the updated planning documents have more to do with the proposed apartment building than the theater building. Asked if the Double Door is now officially confirmed for the site, Mulroney said there will be news to share on that subject soon. In July, he assured Block Club, “It is happening.”

“That relationship is still in good shape,” Mulroney said on Thursday of his work with Cedar Street, which would be the Double Door’s new landlord if plans for the rock club move forward.

A Cedar Street representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Tressa Feher, chief of staff to Ald. James Cappleman (46th), said it was anticipated that Cedar Street would need to amend its site plans after the Double Door relocation was proposed for the location. The action by Cedar Street is a positive development in the rock club’s relocation, she said.

Plans for the parking lot next to the former theater building call for the 8-story apartment complex that would include 110 units and ground-floor retail space. The building would include 16 parking spaces and and a rooftop deck and dog run.

Cedar Street unveiled plans for the apartment building in 2015, originally calling for a seven-story building housing 102 apartments and 21 parking spaces.

Credit: Tim Regan / Block Club Chicago
Smashing Pumpkins fans gather at the Wilson Avenue Theater, 1050 W. Wilson Ave. on Saturday afternoon. A sign stating “future home of the brand new Double Door” hangs in the window.

In 2013, Cedar Street bought the theater building at 1050 W. Wilson Ave. for $625,000. At the time, the firm said it was seeking “a unique tenant that not only respects the grandeur of the space, but also adds value to the Uptown community.”

News that the Double Door could move to the location leaked in late 2018, when the Smashing Pumpkins hosted a pop-up store in the theater building and hung a banner proclaiming the space as the “future home of the brand new” Double Door. Cappleman then confirmed the news in a Facebook post.

The updated site plans introduced to the City Council Wednesday do not say much about the work needed at the existing theater building. With the update, Cedar Street is seeking to divide the planned development site into two sub-areas and allow for the theater use.

The Wilson Avenue Theater, designed by architect Henry L. Ottenheimer, opened in 1908 and was once a home to vaudeville performers. Most recently, it was a TCF bank until 2011.

The redevelopment is just the latest Uptown project for Cedar Street, which has amassed a sizable portfolio of rental and retail buildings in the neighborhood.

Earlier this month, Cedar Street began work turning the parking lot at 4750 N. Winthrop Ave. into an 84-unit apartment building.

The Winthrop development is down the street from Cedar Street’s Lawrence House, and is two blocks from the Bridgeview Bank Building the developer bought last year with plans to re-develop it.

Late last year, Cedar Street began move-ins at The Draper, a 342-unit apartment building at 5050 N. Broadway, according to Curbed.