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Local News

JJC plans to acquire property at Chicken-N-Spice restaurant

College official: Having Chicago St. property would make City Center campus complete

JOLIET – Joliet Junior College officials plan to acquire property at 251 N. Chicago St., which includes the Chicken-N-Spice restaurant.

The Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved beginning the process to acquire the property that sits next to the JJC City Center campus building, which is slated to open in January.

JJC spokeswoman Kelly Rohder said the development has been an ongoing conversation with the owners of Chicken-N-Spice and the owner of the property it sits on, the Roberts family.

Rohder wrote in an email that the college has been interested in the property for some time.

“Due to the challenges with the parking around the site and the opening of our new building, the purchase of this land [in the center of our property] would make the site complete,” Rohder wrote.

She wrote the college does not yet have a finalized timeline on acquisition of the property. 

A Chicken-N-Spice manager said Friday that Pat Reimer, one of the owners of the restaurant, said at this time there was nothing substantial to report.

Chicken-N-Spice opened in Joliet in 1979.

The restaurant and the City Center campus building sit on opposites of Webster Street on Chicago Street in downtown Joliet.

Webster Street goes through the site of the JJC Renaissance Center and former Sheraton Hotel, which college officials plan to demolish to make way for parking space. JJC staff have been at work to renovate the Renaissance Center.

The City Center campus redevelopment was originally part of the 2008-2013 Master Plan facilities development, Rohder wrote.

The area around the City Center campus was visualized by architects and college officials along with the building itself, she wrote.

JJC completed exterior work for the building in 2014 and the college’s interim President Judy Mitchell said at the State of the College address held Thursday that the college is working with the state to finish the interior, which should be completed this fall. 

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