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Local News

Joliet considers more time for Crabigale's proposals

A view of the former Crabigale's building is seen in this Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, file photo along Cass Street in downtown Joliet.
A view of the former Crabigale's building is seen in this Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, file photo along Cass Street in downtown Joliet.

JOLIET – City officials may allow more time for proposals for re-use of the old Crabigale’s space after hearing from just one potential developer by a Friday deadline.

The city owns the Loughran Building downtown that was last used for the Crabigale’s comedy club, which closed in 2005.

Four potential developers toured the building but only one submitted a proposal by a 3 p.m. Friday deadline, Joliet Economic Development Director Steve Jones said.

“We have an evaluation initiated to decide if having one proposal is sufficient to move forward or to determine if a two- to three-week period is sufficient to determine if anyone else is interested,” said Jones.

Jones said a decision will be made this week.

Putting the building back into use has proved difficult for the city, which acquired it in 2001.

The city sought proposals for redevelopment after a previous agreement with Leaf Capital Investments was revoked in February. Leaf had missed deadlines for acquiring financing for the project.

A previous plan by the Lockdown Bar & Grill in Chicago to open a second restaurant in the Loughran Building fell through in November 2014.

In all three rounds, including the latest request for proposals, the city has offered to transfer ownership to the developer once $300,000 worth of renovations are spent on the building.

Jones said there appeared to be more interest in the building this time around when four potential developers came for the tour. Only two came the last time around.

“The economy has gotten better, so more people are looking at it,” he said.

Anyone making a proposal was required to visit the building.

The incentive package is aimed at ensuring that a restaurant or bar is put on the first floor while the upper two floors are renovated as well.

The first floor was renovated by the late Brian Graf for Crabigale’s, which also had a restaurant.

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