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Eddie Carranza Has (Another) Deal In Place To Sell The Congress Theater

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 20, 2014 5:15PM

Photo credit: Gary Eckstein

Eddie Carranza's ownership of the Congress Theater could be nearing an end. The controversial owner of the Logan Square music venue reportedly has a deal to sell the Congress to Michael Moyer, best known for spearheading the restoration of the Cadillac Palace Theatre downtown.

WBEZ's Jim DeRogatis put together a timeline showing that Moyer has paid Carranza more than $500,000 in earnest money for the Congress since last August. Carranza also failed to appear at the latest hearing to appeal the revocation of the Congress' liquor license, fueling rumors he's done fighting with the city over the venue.

While few around town would be sad to see Carranza get out of the business of owning entertainment venues (he still does own the shuttered Portage Theater), nothing involving him is simple. The sale of the Congress to Moyer could take a while, while two other claims to the theater play out in the courts. Music promoters JAM Productions and React Presents claim to have memorandums of understanding with Carranza granting each the right of first refusal of any pending sale. So even while Carranza seems eager to wash his hands of the Congress he'll remain the owner of record until those claims are resolved.

Moyer will have his work cut out for him if he ends up assuming ownership of the Congress. DeRogatis, citing industry sources, says the theater could need as much as $20 million in repairs.