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Portage Theater Storefronts and Apartments Up for Sale

By Heather Cherone | February 19, 2015 3:57pm
 Portage Theater
Portage Theater
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DNAinfo/Quinn Ford

PORTAGE PARK — The storefronts and apartments attached to the Portage Theater in the heart of the Six Corners Shopping District are up for sale, officials said Thursday.

The asking price for the 34 apartments and eight storefronts at 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. is $2.35 million — but the property needs another $1.26 million in renovations, according to a listing published by Justin Weber of Chicago-based Essex Realty Group.

The theater itself, a 94-year-old former movie palace, is not for sale, according to the listing.

Owner Eddie Carranza referred questions about the sale to Weber and declined to say why he decided to sell the storefronts and apartments that he had vowed to renovate in an effort to draw more shoppers to the area and complement the movies, shows and concerts at the Portage Theater.

Heather Cherone says the sale process could be bumpy:

Carranza is looking for someone who shares his vision for the theater to purchase the storefronts and apartments and boost the ongoing revitalization of Six Corners, Weber said.

Carranza plans to continue to own the theater, Weber said.

Carranza initially said he planned to use the proceeds from the sale of the Congress Theater in Logan Square to spruce up the Portage Theater as well as its storefronts and apartments. That deal closed last month.

It is not clear why those plans changed, despite Carranza's repeated claims he had an agreement with a "high-end" developer to remake the storefronts.

In May, city officials asked Carranza to repair two "dangerous and dilapidated" porches leading to the apartment buildings attached to the theater.

In September 2013, Carranza failed to pay the historic building's $25,000 gas bill, leaving residents without heat for several days.

Carranza closed the Portage Theater in May 2013 as part of a dispute with Ald. John Arena (45th), who said he would not allow Carranza to take over the liquor and public place of amusement licenses at the Six Corners theater based on Carranza's pockmarked track record at the Congress Theater in Logan Square.

However, the theater has been operating smoothly since June, officials said.

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