Cheap Trick aiming for Motor Row
09/28/2011 10:00 PM
One of Illinois’ best-known rock acts is planning to set up shop on South Michigan Avenue, opening a museum and concert venue in Motor Row.
Cheap Trick, the band from Rockford that rose to prominence in the late 1970s, is planning on rehabbing an old Buick dealership at 2245 S. Michigan Ave. and turning it into their Chicago home, according the real estate company that says they’re working on the deal.
The museum will feature Rick Nielsen’s large guitar collection and Bun E. Carlos’ drum collection, as well as 25 years worth of tour memorabilia, according to Luke Sauer, principal with Sierra, the company that’s coordinating the museum.
It’ll also be a fully functional music venue, and Cheap Trick will play “a couple” of shows there each year, Sauer said.
Developers have said that the construction of the old auto showrooms — long rooms without any poles or other visual obstructions — make the spaces ideal for concert and entertainment venues. Sauer said that the city’s new zoning in the neighborhood, which now forbids residential construction, makes the area extremely appealing to developers.
“It makes it more appealing that businesses will operate there and populate the strip with entertainment uses without having to fight with other types of uses,” Sauer said. “It demonstrates that the city is dedicated to making this a world-class entertainment district for the city, for visitors from other parts of the world, and for McCormick Place.”