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Parking Lot to Replace Failed Dance Theater Project on 47th Street

By Sam Cholke | August 26, 2014 8:20am
 MAC Properties is building a parking lot on the site of a failed plan for a $15 million dance theater.
MAC Properties is building a parking lot on the site of a failed plan for a $15 million dance theater.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

KENWOOD — Dreams for a new dance theater on 47th Street are being buried as crews work on converting the proposed site for the Muntu Dance Theatre into a parking lot.

Last week, construction crews started work on a new 100-space parking lot at 47th Street and Greenwood Avenue for residents of the Maple Court Apartments, with bigger plans down the line.

“We’re looking forward to a retail development on the site when market conditions support the development,” said Peter Cassel, director of community development for MAC Properties, which bought the foreclosed property at an auction in 2013.

The site was originally to be the home of a $15 million performing arts center run by Muntu Dance Theater.

On Monday, construction equipment was ripping out the foundation of the theater, the only portion of the building ever completed.

Cassel said MAC Properties has been able to unwind many of the many tax regulations tied up in the property since buying it at the auction.

The proposed theater was being supported by $6 million in city and state grants, including a $1.75 million city grant that required the property owner to build a theater on the property. Those offers of support were later rescinded when Muntu failed to come up with its portion of the financing.

MAC Properties was able to negotiate plans for the property with the city and put the site back into use for the first time since 2002.

“We found the city staff and alderman were very interested in restoring the site,” Cassel said of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development and Ald. Will Burns (4th) office.

He said the parking lot is expected to open in late fall.

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