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Potential Buyer Interested in Wheaton Grand Theater

Historic building in downtown Wheaton may have a buyer, the Daily Herald Reports.

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.

Click to read the story on the Daily Herald website.

Keith Reily April 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Grand Theater's potential buyer is out as of 4/18/12, yet the link to the corresponding story in The Daily Herald on 3/21/12 stated how Rick Erickson was just about to come onto the field to make a bid, yet didn't want to enter into a bidding war. Well, in just under a month if you are still interested the field is wide open. However, if you no longer are interested, would all the interested yet not playing/paying parties please allow the next potential purchaser to use the property as they want and can afford. It doesn't need to still look like the 1925 Theater, I would rather it looked and could function as a 2012 viable and respectable business that would be an asset to Wheaton. The Theater is a great look, yet if it is the extra cost that is holding someone back, then a profitable and decent looking building and its businesses would be better than an empty looking theater from almost 100 years ago. Plus, let me say in advance to the illustrious, T.M. before he states his often used one line response, "been to any City Council Meetings lately"? Yes, yes I have and I have met you!

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