Developer gets city OK to add residential tower to Congress Theater redevelopment

Michael Moyer and renderings of Congress Theater (Credit: Twitter and LinkedIn)

Developer Michael Moyer won city approval Thursday to add a residential building to his planned redevelopment of Logan Square’s Congress Theater.

In September, Moyer announced plans to build a 10-story, 117-unit tower on a vacant lot just north of the theater at 2135 North Milwaukee Avenue. Two months later, he scaled back his plans to include a seven-story, 72-unit building with ground-floor retail.

The Chicago Plan Commission approved the scaled-back plans Thursday.

Moyer is also redeveloping the landmark theater itself, planning to spend $70 million to convert the building into a 5,000 capacity entertainment venue, 16,000 square feet of retail, a 50-room hotel and 14 affordable housing units.

The troubled concert venue shuttered in 2013 and Moyer bought it in 2015 for $16 million.

“It was the wild west over there,” Alderman Joe Moreno (1st) said of the theater’s previous management. “This gem needs a lot of polishing.”

The design for the residential building is not yet finalized and is still going through a city review process, city officials said Thursday.

The city’s Community Development Commission in June approved using a total of $10.4 million in TIF funds for the overall project, according to reports. The residential building would include 30 percent affordable units and, 80 percent of the retail space will be occupied by locally-owned vendors, Moreno said.

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