UPTOWN — Two Uptown projects seeking to rehab and redevelop historical properties in the neighborhood are one step closer to securing city development funds.
City officials on Tuesday gave initial approval for giving $12 million in tax-increment finance (or TIF) dollars for the rehabbing of the GreenRise social services building and the new home of TimeLine theater.
The GreenRise building at 4750 N. Sheridan Road is seeking $2 million in TIF funding for a planned $21 million renovation of the historical building housing many social services agencies.
The project will renovate the 100-year-old building by updating its systems, replacing windows, restoring historical masonry and overhauling its lobby, according to a city presentation at Tuesday’s Community Development Commission meeting.
The building’s first floor will also have some space converted into new tenant spaces plus a new atrium.
Built in 1921, the GreenRise building is considered the largest social services center in the Midwest and houses stalwart Uptown organizations including Sarah’s Circle. The building also houses residences.
The eight-story building was constructed for the Kemper Insurance Company, who gifted it to the nonprofit Institute of Cultural Affairs in 1971. The organization named the building GreenRise.
Insitute of Cultural Affairs is seeking $2 million from the Lawrence/Broadway TIF district to help finance its project. The city’s Community Development Corporation signed off on the request Tuesday, with Ald. James Cappleman (46th) submitting a letter in support of the plan.
The city’s development commission also gave initial approval to TimeLine Theater’s request for $10 million in TIF dollars for its planned relocation from Lakeview to Uptown.
TimeLine is working to build a new 250-seat theater at 5033 N. Broadway. Plans call for redeveloping the existing, 100-year-old warehouse building at the site into a glassy, expansive arts center.
The building would also contain gallery space, rehearsal space and a first-floor cafe and bar open to the public.
The City Council has signed off on a zoning change for the property to allow for TimeLine’s move. It is now working on financing the project, and appears in line for $10 million in TIF funds.
The TIF payments would be made after the completion of the project and help TimeLine secure a bridge loan for construction, city officials said Tuesday. TimeLine has also secured a $2.5 million grant from the state and is underway with a fundraising effort.
Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) spoke in support of the TIF funding for the theater project.
“Our community is overjoyed that TimeLine is coming to our neighborhood,” he said at the commission meeting. “It’s going to be a huge asset for the Uptown area.”
The new building is slated to open in 2024, TimeLine said. It will continue to operate out of its Lakeview theater until then. For more on the project, click here.
The City Council still needs to sign off the on TIF fund expednitures for these projects.
Tax0increment financing districts are areas within the city where additional property taxes collected over a set number go into a neighborhood fund for private and public development initiatives.
The Broadway/Lawrence TIF, established in 2001, had a $22 million fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2020, according to city records.
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