UPTOWN — Business leaders in Uptown on Wednesday are hosting a tour of buildings in the community that could factor into entertainment district plans — if new tenants emerge to claim the spaces.
"All these great spaces are ready for your big idea," the listing said. "Incentive dollars, including the Small Business Improvement Fund, are available to help build upon the Entertainment District that's already here in historic Uptown."
Uptown United mentioned four sites that will be open to interested parties.
The organization plans to show off the lower level of the Uptown Broadway Building at 4707 N. Broadway.
Designed by architect Walter W. Ahlschlager and built in 1926, the building boasts an ornate terra cotta facade and is rumored to be the former home of an Al Capone speakeasy. It is also the former location of The Equator Club. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The terra cotta-coated former Border's building, 4718 N. Broadway, is also included in the open house.
The owner of the building, Josh Mintzer, said earlier this fall that his attempts at finding tenants hasn't "gotten the traction we would have hoped for" from restaurants, bars and other businesses that would fit plans to make Uptown a booming entertainment district.
He said that revenue from billboard advertisements he wants to install could allow him "to be patient and wait it out as opposed to just signing a lease with anyone to get some cash coming into the property."
Business leaders are hoping for a tenant to fill the Annoyance Theatre and Bar space at 4830 N. Broadway, which is included in the open house.
Business owners on Broadway have said that the recent departure of the Annoyance reduced foot traffic on the strip, which includes Uptown staples the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, book and record store Shake Rattle and Read and the vacant Uptown Theatre.
In the Argyle Street area, a former storage building at 5035 N. Broadway that Uptown United said is an ideal studio or rehearsal space, will be on display during the open house event.
Real estate mogul Jay Michael acquired the 101-year-old industrial building earlier this fall for his Flats Chicago real estate brand. The building sits next to acclaimed Hong Kong-style barbecue joint Sun Wah Bar-B-Que.
The sites are open from 4-6 p.m. and the event ends with a reception at Fat Cat Bar, 4840 N. Broadway, from 6-7 p.m.