CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel cheered $10 million in new state funding for the Uptown Theatre as "a big step forward" Monday, but mentioned "priorities" ahead of any additional city investment in its renovation.
"It's an important contribution," Emanuel said Monday during a City Hall news conference.
The state Senate joined the House last week in passing a bill that would allocate $10 million to the Uptown, a concert venue and former movie palace shuttered since pipes froze, burst and flooded the theater in 1981. Yet that's only a fraction of the estimated $70 million to $80 million a full renovation would cost.
The mayor mentioned "priorities" before committing himself to any more city investment in the rehabilitation project.
"In and around that area, we've made improvements in Truman College, in parking and also a new part of their campus," Emanuel said, adding that the Wilson Avenue CTA station would start getting an overhaul in July, followed by new work done on the Lawrence Avenue station.
"When you put all that together, plus this $10 million, it's a big step forward in creating the entertainment area we want to create for the City of Chicago," Emanuel said.
The Uptown has been mentioned as the possible centerpiece of a proposed Uptown Entertainment District made up of the Aragon Ballroom, Riviera Theatre and Green Mill jazz club, as well as other cultural venues in the neighborhood.
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