Much represented Chicago native Harry Lennix and his real estate partner Keith Giles in the formation of a qualified opportunity fund (QOF) and the purchase of a vacant industrial building in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood. Lennix and Giles plan to fully renovate the property and develop a performing arts center focused on celebrating African American culture.
Dan Bronson, a principal in the firm's Real Estate group, led the team that advised Lennix and Giles on the QOF's creation and subsequent acquisition of 4343 South Cottage Grove Avenue. The property is located in a qualified opportunity zone (QOZ) under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, entitling investors in the project to substantial tax benefits.
Lennix and Giles intend to transform the building into a performing arts center that will be home to the internationally acclaimed Congo Square Theatre Company. The theater will be known as the "Lillian Marcie Theatre," named after Lennix's mother, Lillian Lennix, and his mentor, Marcella Gillie. The center will take on projects that honor the lives of these women and the broader African American experience through the performing arts.
Lennix is a Northwestern University graduate and a celebrated film, television and stage actor who currently stars in NBC's hit series, "The Blacklist." Giles is an award-winning real estate developer who has been renovating and repurposing historic and dormant buildings on the South Side of Chicago since the late 1980s.