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Is the $10M Granted for Uptown Theatre Renovation at Risk?

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A state appropriation worth $10 million that was meant to help renovate the landmark Uptown Theatre may be in jeopardy due to budget cuts by Governor Bruce Rauner. Rikeesha Phelon, the press secretary of Senate President James Cullerton, who has supported the renovation of the historic structure, confirmed that all capital grants are on hold pending review by the new Governor. It's consistent with Rauner's earlier announcement that he would halt all new grant awards except those deemed to be either an emergency or less than $50,000. The decision now rests with the The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Last May, Senator Cullerton pushed a bill through the legislature that included a $10 million appropriation for the Uptown, meant to be a catalyst for a wholesale renovation of the historic space estimated to cost $70 million. The north side Jazz Age gem, originally built in 1925 by Rapp and Rapp and called "an acre of seats in a Magic City," closed in 1981, but has since been used for special events and as a backdrop the fourth Transformers movie. JAM Productions purchased the space in 2008. Restoration of the building was expected to help anchor further revitalization of the neighborhood.

We've asked to get more information on the review process, including a potential date when a decision will be made, and will update when we know more.

·Rauner sworn in as governor, says business as usual would be 'morally corrupt' [Tribune]
·$10 million in seed money could help save historic Uptown Theatre [Sun-Times]
·Previous Uptown Theatre coverage [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Uptown coverage [Curbed Chicago]