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Rialto sees interest in former Gallery Seven space

The main entrance to the Two Rialto Square buidling provides Chicago Street access to Rialto tenants.
The main entrance to the Two Rialto Square buidling provides Chicago Street access to Rialto tenants.

JOLIET – Potential tenants have shown interest in the storefront space vacated by Gallery Seven earlier this month, the Rialto Square Theatre’s leasing agent said.

One even made an offer, but it was too low, John Olivieri said.

Gallery Seven had occupied the Chicago Street space rent-free for about nine years in an arrangement with the Rialto Square Theatre before being told to vacate by Dec. 11.

“We have two or three people looking at it,” Olivieri said last week. “One person made an offer. It was below our parameters. That space should go for a decent amount of money.”

The space, located in the Two Rialto Square building, is seen as valuable because it provides a street-level location on Chicago Street. The city hopes to bring more traffic downtown with a Chicago Street improvement plan.

Olivieri commented to The Herald-News after a Rialto board meeting that included approval of new arrangements for leasing space when potential tenants want it quickly.

The board approved a change to its contract with VenuWorks, the company that manages Rialto properties for the Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, that allows Executive Director Valerie Divine to sign off on leases that meet certain parameters set by the authority.

The authority board, commonly known as the Rialto board, was looking for a procedure to accommodate tenants that needed space more quickly than could be met by the board’s monthly meeting schedule.

The board must give final approval to any lease.

“We wanted some guidelines so we could move to get things done quickly,” Olivieri told the board.

The issue came up when Olivieri signed up the only new tenant that has come to the Rialto since the company was hired in July as building manager with the goal of developing more revenue from office space to support theater operations.

N.F. Demolition leased space at Two Rialto Square in October.

The board last week did approve a lease renewal for law firm Rosario Cibella Ltd.

Gallery Seven has moved to the Gaylord Building in Lockport, where it expects to reopen in January.

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