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Local News

Busted heat pump leads to water damage at 2 Rialto Square in Joliet

A heat pump burst at the 2 Rialto Square building over the weekend, causing water damage to second-floor offices.
A heat pump burst at the 2 Rialto Square building over the weekend, causing water damage to second-floor offices.

JOLIET – A heat pump burst in the 2 Rialto Square building over the weekend causing water damage to second-floor offices.

There was no damage to the Rialto Square Theatre itself.

But repairs will cost an estimated $10,000, said Robert Filotto, chairman of the Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, which owns the theater and adjacent office space.

"It must have burst sometime Sunday evening," Filotto said. "When staff came in Monday, they found significant damage to that area."

Furniture, carpeting and ceiling tiles were damaged. Filotto said cleanup is expected to be completed Wednesday.

While the theater was not damaged, the 2 Rialto Square building does contain offices that produce rental income to support the Rialto. The authority board is in the process of hiring a property manager to keep tenants from leaving and attract new ones to the office space.

Filotto said the authority made a point of being "very proactive" and reaching out to tenants to inform them of the leak. Offices for three tenants were damaged.

The heat pumps are used both for heat and air conditioning, Filotto said.

"I'm told we have several of them in the building," he said. "Most of them are very old."

Integrity Restoration Services is working on the cleanup and repairs.

"The best guess at this point is $10,000 to clean it up," Filotto said.

The Rialto has the money to pay the bill, Filotto said, but added, "I'd rather not spend it on things like this."

The cash-strapped Filotto borrowed $600,000 from its foundation earlier this year to pay off old bills. The property management agreement pending with Olivieri Real Estate was reduced to $25,000 with fewer services for the coming year after the authority board questioned whether it could afford an original proposal for $80,000.

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