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Local News

Rialto renews bank loan on USF renovations

JOLIET – The Rialto Square Theatre board and its bank have renewed a loan that some speculated would be called at the end of the year.

The original $2.8 million loan was used to finance the remodelling of office space for the University of St. Francis arts campus, which was moved into the Rialto building in 2009.

Rialto officials and a bank executive for months have said that the loan would be renewed.

But some in the community, including Mayor Bob O'Dekirk, had speculated that the full loan would come due at the end of the year and further deepen the Rialto's financial troubles.

The Rialto still owes nearly $2.4 million on the loan from First Community Financial Bank–Joliet.

"In light of all the issues the Rialto has had, the payment has never – I'll repeat – never been late," bank President Steve Randich told the Rialto board at its meeting Wednesday. "We're happy to renew the loan and continue to do business with the Rialto."

Randich also is vice president of the separate Rialto Square Theatre Foundation board, which raises money to help fund the theater.

The loan was renewed for two years, a shorter term than the previous five years, but at the same interest rate of 5 percent.

The Rialto board approved the loan renewal at its meeting.

The loan is paid through rent collected from USF.

The Rialto is grappling with $571,000 in late bills and the prospect that the city of Joliet in 2017 will not provide the annual subsidy that has been used to fund theater operations for years.

USF is among several tenants who occupy office space owned by the Rialto.

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