January 9, 2008

Live Nation Has Eyes on Uptown

From today's Sun Times:

Northerly Island promoter seeks to restore theater's glory

January 9, 2008

Live Nation Inc., the concert promoter that manages the outdoor performance stage at Northerly Island, is negotiating with city officials to take over the landmark Uptown Theatre, 4816 N. Broadway.

The 1925 building has been mostly unused for 25 years. But Live Nation is said to be interested in restoring it to its former glory and using its 4,300-seat auditorium for concerts and other events.

Possible hitches -- and there are many -- include a city subsidy for what could be a $40 million restoration. Also, the city has a lien of at least $1 million on the property because of emergency repairs it had to order on the building. The City Council has given Mayor Daley's administration authority to acquire the Uptown via condemnation.

City Hall and Live Nation had no immediate comment. Ownership of the Uptown is a matter of litigation.

A first mortgage on the property is under the control of David Husman, chairman of Equibase Capital Group LLC. Husman has been sued by Jam Productions Inc. and Joseph Freed & Associates LLC, who acquired a second mortgage and claim Husman has unlawfully refused their offers to pay off $1.3 million due on the first mortgage.

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