CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess) Since the J. Geils Band left the stage on Dec. 19, 1981, Chicago’s celebrated Uptown Theatre has remained dark, waiting for someone to pay for a sizeable renovation.
Famed Chi town concert promoter Jerry Mickelson, who owns the venue, figured he had an angel with the founding of The Chicago Infrastructure Trust, a not-for-profit agency that Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel created with former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement that would find private investors willing to bankroll public improvement projects.
Launched five years ago, the Chicago Infrastructure Trust has, however, accomplished little.
None of the $800 million in financing that Emanuel claimed he had lined up from institutional investors to bankroll city projects materialized.
Furthermore, city records reviewed by the Better Government Association show trust operations and projects have been largely dependent on public financing even though Emanuel sold the idea as an innovative financing scheme to free taxpayers from cost and risk.
Meanwhile, the Uptown Theatre remains padlocked and dark and mostly forgotten.