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Posted on: November 15, 2016

City of Highland Park Approves Purchase and Sale Agreement for the Highland Park Theater

The Mayor and Highland Park City Council unanimously approved a purchase and sale agreement for $1,100,000 with the Canel Companies of Highland Park, IL for the Highland Park Theater at the November 14, 2016 Council Meeting. The Canel Companies will purchase and redevelop the Highland Park Theater and a portion of the Ori South Parking Lot (441-447 Central Avenue, Highland Park, IL). The proposed development includes the construction of a new two-story building for retail, office, restaurant and a garden. The proposed design is consistent with the character of the current façade, with public parking preserved for the neighboring businesses. The purchase price reflects the appraised value of the building.

The proposed development will advance through the City’s public plan development and review process. The Redevelopment of the theater property contemplates demolition of the existing theater building, construction of a new building, resurfacing and restriping of the Ori South Lot, construction of a new lot north of the existing theater building with a total of 78 parking spaces, and installation of landscaping improvements on the Ori South Lot. The zoning application must be filed with the City no later than March 6, 2017. The developer has six months after March 6, 2017 to go through the City’s zoning approval process. A public hearing will be held by the Plan and Design Commission as part of the application process. 

The City Council with input from staff, reviewed multiple proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the Highland Park Theater. On May 23, 2016, at the Regular Meeting of the Highland Park City Council, the Mayor and City Council unanimously approved a Letter of Intent (LOI) with The Canel Companies to purchase and redevelop the Highland Park Theater and a portion of the Ori South Parking Lot (441-447 Central Avenue).

“We are pleased with the sale of the Highland Park Theater property” stated Mayor Nancy Rotering. “The Canel Companies proposal was selected as it is provides a balanced solution for the property and surrounding neighborhood.”

“We are ready to work with the City of Highland Park and bring this development to the community,” said Scott Canel, President of The Canel Companies. “This project is unique and will complement Downtown Highland Park. The restaurant venue will serve excellent farm-to-table food, while providing vocational training to local students and young adults in our community with developmental disabilities to enhance their employment in food service, hospitality and retail.  This will be an extraordinary place in Highland Park.”

The background and history of efforts to sell the Theater can be found on the City’s web site at www.cityhpil.com/theater.  For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000.

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Supporting Documentation:

The City purchased the Highland Park Theater in 2009 with the intent to retain it as an entertainment venue. The Theater was closed in May 2012 for life safety reasons following an independent fire inspection. In 2013, the City pursued redevelopment options for the Theater that would retain it as a theater or other cultural arts/entertainment venue while meeting the goals and desires of the community, generating revenue, and enhancing the Central Business District. As part of this effort, the City welcomed input from the public, including consideration of concepts brought forward by residents. The effort did not produce a viable option.

In January 2014, the City Council agreed to sell the property without any of the previously required restrictions that the property be used as a theater or an entertainment center in an effort to maximize the redevelopment and preservation options for the property.

The background and history of efforts to sell the Theater can be found on the City’s web site at www.cityhpil.com/theater.  For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000.

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