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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Double Door’s New Uptown Home And Neighboring Apartment Building Get City Approval

Plans to relocate the beloved rock club from Wicker Park to Uptown were confirmed in 2019 and approved by City Council Wednesday.

Cedar Street will build a new apartment building next to the future home of the Double Door.
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UPTOWN — The Double Door is one step closer to reopening after City Council approved plans Wednesday for the club’s eventual move to Uptown — and for an apartment complex to rise on a nearby parking lot.

Development firm Cedar Street won support from the City Council Wednesday for its mixed-use development at Wilson and Kenmore avenues. Included in the development is the Wilson Theater, 1050 W. Wilson Ave., which has been eyed as the new home to beloved rock club Double Door.

Cedar Street’s plans call for redeveloping the historic building back into a theater after years of being used as a commercial space. The theater’s parking lot will be replaced by a 62-unit apartment building.

After being evicted from its longtime Wicker Park location in 2017, it was rumored that Double Door would relocate to Uptown. The move was confirmed by the club’s owner in July 2019.

Formal plans for the new Double Door site were introduced to the city in February 2020. The planning documents do not mention Double Door by name, but Ald. James Cappleman (46th) at this week’s Zoning Committee meeting said “we all know” who it is.

Original plans submitted by Cedar Street called for a courtyard style apartment building rising eight stories and housing 110 units to be built next to the theater. Cedar Street later pared down the building to five stories and 62 apartments, and gave the structure a more modern facade.

Six affordable units will be included in the project, the minimum required under the city’s affordable requirements ordinance.

Credit: Courtesy 46th Ward Office
Early plans for the Double Door development included a eight story courtyard building with a classic facade meant to blend in with Uptown’s historic district.

The updated plans gained initial approval from the Plan Commission in December and passed through the Zoning Committee Tuesday.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to turn this building back to its roots,” said Cappleman at December’s commission meeting.

The Wilson Theater, built in 1908, was the longtime home to vaudeville performers. Most recently, it was a TCF bank until 2011.

Credit: Jonathan Ballew/ Block Club Chicago
The Wilson Avenue Theater, 1050 W. Wilson Ave., where the Double Door aims to open.

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.

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.”

The prolific development firm’s plans for an apartment building on the theater parking lot site were floated as early as 2015.

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