The Wheaton Grand Theater may have a buyer, the Daily Herald reported Wednesday. Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk told the Herald the prospective buyer envisions an office or retail building for the property on Hale Street.
"The good news is it's a local developer, I think he has an appreciation for the building itself," Gresk told Patch Wednesday. "We're all keen to have this back on the tax rolls."
Jim Kozik, director of economic development for the City of Wheaton said the potential buyer is currently conducting due diligence on the property.
Gresk said the prospective buyer is currently in a 45-day due diligence period, and is adding up his numbers to decide whether he wants to—and can afford to—go through with the deal.
A banker at the building's owner, Suburban Bank and Trust Co., told the Herald the interested buyer has made an offer, and that the bank has not accepted offers below $500,000 in the past.
"It all comes down to the money," Gresk said. "We've had some serious people step up before and simply not be able to sort through the money and work it out with the bank... Hopefully the bank will find the offer acceptable."
The future of the 1925 theater has been a topic of discussion and debate since it closed in the late 90s. The theater showcased vaudeville performers and silent movies. It opened its doors on May 25, 1925 with a showing of a romantic drama, "The Dressmaker from Paris," starring Sally Rand.
Voters decided against an last spring, which asked whether the city should contribute taxpayer money for the restoration and operation of the theater.