(Above) 1963 photo by Cervin Robinson of 632 North Dearborn Street. Click on image to view larger version.
The 125-year-old Chicago landmark is being renovated and will re-open in December 2018 as a restaurant and nightclub.
3-Jul-17 A $22 million project to renovate the former Excalibur nightclub at Dearborn & Ontario in River North will get a property tax break under a city ordinance introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The ordinance, introduced on June 28, would authorize a Class L Property Tax Incentive for 632 North Dearborn Street, an official Chicago landmark since 1997. The incentive, offered by Cook County, lowers the assessment rate for 12 years of a landmarked building provided its owner invests at least half of the buildings value in an approved rehab project. Instead of an assessment rate of 25 percent, with a Class L incentive, the rate would be ten percent for the first ten years, 15 percent in the 11th year, and 20 percent in the 12th year.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has recommended the project be approved for the tax incentive and the Department of Planning and Development has determined the project is eligible. Support from the Chicago City Council is also required.
The four-story Romanesque building was constructed in 1892. It has been the headquarters of Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago office of Works Progress Administration, a Loyal Order of Moose lodge, The Institute of Design, a recording studio, home of the mens magazine, Gallery, and a series of nightclubs, including Excalibur from 1989 to 2012.
More recently, it was Castle Chicago, which closed on January 3, 2015. It had been a tenant of the building since it sold on April 30, 2014, for $12.5 million to Chicagos Four Corners Tavern Group, co-founders of which, Andy Gloor and Matthew Menna, are principals of commercial real estate company Sterling Bay.
The new owners estimate renovation of the building, inside and out, will cost $22,370,624.
Andy Gloor (far left) and Matthew Menna.
Exterior work includes removal of the sign at the corner, replacing the front doors, replacing an asphalt shingle roof with roofing that looks like slate, and repair and cleaning of masonry, granite, and terra cotta.
Inside, walls that are not load-bearing are being demolished, along with ceilings and stairs. Concrete and steel structural elements are being repaired. The fire protection system, including sprinklers, will be new. New elevators and exit stairways are being installed. Gas, water, and electrical services will be upgraded.
All the work must be reviewed and approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.