UPTOWN — TimeLine Theatre Company received City Council approval Tuesday to renovate an Uptown warehouse into its new, expansive arts center.
The Lakeview-based theater company has been eyeing a move to Uptown since at least 2018, when it bought the warehouse building at 5033 N. Broadway. After a City Council vote to rezone the property for theater use, TimeLine can move ahead with its plans to relocate to Uptown, where it will turn the warehouse into its new headquarters.
Plans call for a major renovation of the 100-year-old Broadway building, plus a 15-foot addition into the neighboring vacant lot. The theater company will also remove the former warehouse building’s classic facade and replace it with a modern, glassy front that will bring art to the public, TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers said at a previous neighborhood meeting.
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The glassy facade would showcase a first-floor cafe and bar, a second-floor gallery space and upper-floor rehearsal space, helping activate the building and make the art experience more communal, Powers said.
“It was incredibly important to us to have this very open facade to really create an inviting, welcoming, gathering place where everyone in the community can see themselves inside,” Powers said.
The existing building’s facade and western-most portion will be rebuilt while the eastern portion of the building will remain. The rebuilt structure will be just over 39,000 square feet.
The new theater building allows TimeLine to increase its theatre capacity from the current 99-seat venue 615 W. Wellington Ave., theater officials said. It also allows the company to grow its art exhibit and outreach programs.
TimeLine produces stage shows based on historical events that can be tied to current issues, and it usually has a gallery exhibit tied to its plays. Putting on a play and an exhibit is a challenge in its current Lakeview space. The new building will have a dedicated gallery space.
The $35 million project secured a $2.5 million grant from the state and is seeking tax incremental finance funds from the city, TimeLine said in a press release. Its capital campaign has raised nearly half of its $20 million goal.
The new building is slated to open in 2024, TimeLine said. It will continue to operate out of its Lakeview theater until then.
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