The cash-strapped Museum of Broadcast Communications will have more time to pay off its newhome after receiving a three-year extension on its mortgage, according to an email this week from founder Bruce DuMont.
“We are moving forward,” DuMont wrote.
The announcement ends a period of limbo that began not long after the building, at 360 N. State St., missed its September mortgage payment, just three months after it opened, raising questions about its financial stability. The museum still owes close to $3 million on its mortgage.
The new $27 million, four-story museum building, houses 18,000 square feet of television and radio-related exhibits, recordings and memorabilia.
Pepper Construction Co., the firm that built the building, took on the mortgage in 2009 after the museum fell behind on construction payments, according to financial documents. This is the second extension Pepper has given on the mortgage -- originally the balance was due March 1. Pepper Construction has repeatedly declined to comment on the museum project.
DuMont said by email that new revenue for the mortgage payment will come from a new contract with Blue Plate Catering to help rent out the museum for special events.
“They will market all rentals at the MBC and proceeds will pay down our debt to Pepper,” DuMont wrote. Blue Plate catering could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications moved out of the Chicago Cultural Center in 2003 with plans to relocate to State Street. Despite receiving $10 million in state aid, the museum struggled to pay off the new building, especially after the economic downturn put strain on private donors. With the Blue Plate agreement in place, DuMont wrote, "we are confident about our future."