The City of Highland Park has been proactively working to preserve the contents and architectural elements of the Highland Park Theater. This effort continues through an online public auction scheduled September 5 – October 4. The City contracted with National Property Solutions Inc., an architectural auction company based in Deerfield, Illinois to catalog the contents, manage the sale through an online auction system, and coordinate content removal. Theater contents for sale are available for public viewing and bidding at http://www.npsolutions.com/2016-01-05-14-22-38/current-auctions/property/99-highland-park-theater-online-auction-cypress.
“The City is preserving the iconic theater marquee as well as a ticket marquee dating from the theater’s vaudeville days, which was found deep within the basement of the building. The City is auctioning a variety of items that have been a part of the theater and may be of interest for purchase by the public. The contents for sale include antique wall sconces, theater seating and equipment, office furniture, among other items,” stated City Manager Ghida S. Neukirch.
The online auction is being held in connection with the City’s scheduled sale of the theater to HP Theater Redevelopment LLC, which is set to close on September 8. The agreement between the City and the HP Theater Redevelopment LLC gives permission to the City to access the theater, with advanced notice to the buyer, for a period of 30 days following the property closing in order for the City to complete the sale, preservation and removal of contents from within the building.
The scheduled closing of the theater sale follows the August 28 City Council Meeting at which an ordinance was approved allowing for the sale of the property to HP Theater Redevelopment LLC. In the real estate sale contract, initially approved November 14, 2016, HP Theater Redevelopment LLC agreed to purchase a portion of the theater property and parking lot property for $1,100,000. The approved amendment on August 28 provides for the immediate sale of only the theater building by the City to the Purchaser, and a subsequent land swap of adjacent property.
HP Theater Redevelopment LLC intends to demolish the existing property and construct a new building to be used for retail and restaurant space. HP Theater Redevelopment LLC is proceeding through the City’s procedures for zoning, development, and construction, which are outlined in the City Code.
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, HP Redevelopment LLC (The Canel Companies) was selected in May 2016 by the Mayor and Council as the purchaser for the property.
Additional information about the Highland Park Theater sale is available in the City Council Meeting August 28 agenda packet or call the City’s Community Development Department at 847.432.0808. For more information about the online auction contact Renee Jones, CAI at email@example.com.