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Local News

Rialto Square Theatre board focuses on property issues

Rialto Square Theatre as seen from the Van Buren Plaza in downtown Joliet.
Rialto Square Theatre as seen from the Van Buren Plaza in downtown Joliet.

JOLIET – The Rialto Square Theatre board on Wednesday focused on a few real estate problems it has faced as of late.

A final agreement with John Olivieri to take over property management of the 2 Rialto Square office building was held up for legal review.

Board member Joe Carlasare presented a list of repairs totaling about $500,000 that he said should be done in the next 12 months, but he said that the Rialto needs to find money to pay for them.

Board Chairman Robert Filotto also said the Rialto spent $29,000 in the past month on repairs, which he called “alarming.”

Olivieri agreement

A $25,000 contract with Olivieri to take over property management of the
2 Rialto Square building is not quite done yet, even though the board gave it preliminary approval May 31.

Board member Jane Condon said Rialto attorney Carl Buck still is comparing the Olivieri contract with the theater’s agreement with VenuWorks, the company contracted to manage the theater.

VenuWorks also was to manage the office property owned by the Rialto, but the board hired Olivieri for his real estate expertise.

Condon said Buck wants to “make sure there isn’t any overlap” between the two contracts.

The board, however, did approve two parts of the Olivieri agreement, making him the exclusive leasing agent for the offices and authorizing him to do certain architectural work.

List of repairs

Carlasare, chairman of a newly formed building committee, presented a list of about $500,000 in needed repairs that included a new cooling tower, tuck-pointing, terra cotta replacement yet to be completed, and smoke detectors in the Rialto’s administrative offices.

The work has been put off for years, Carlasare said, because the Rialto does not have the money. The Rialto will approach Joliet, Will County and Joliet Township officials to see whether they can provide assistance.

Filotto, however, urged that the Rialto balance the need for capital repairs with its need to pay bills.

“I think we have to be cautious about approaching the city,” Filotto said. “I don’t want them to fund capital improvements, and this is a bad choice of words, at the expense of funding operations.”

Emergency repairs

Filotto acknowledged that the Rialto has had to be “reactionary” in spending on maintenance.

He pointed to $29,000 in emergency repairs in only the past month.

They included $11,250 spent after a heat pump burst, causing water damage to offices for three tenants in early July. More money was spent when a second heat pump burst, the elevator needed to be repaired and an emergency fire pump had to be replaced.

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