JOLIET, IL — The Joliet Chamber of Commerce owned a one-story brick building on North Chicago Street since the 1980s, but not anymore. On March 1, Joliet Chamber President Jen Howard and her staff moved into their office space about a block away at 116 North Chicago St.
They are in Suite 110at the Two Rialto Square Building, which is now owned by Joliet commercial real estate investor John Bays. He bought the building in December 2018 and has spent several million dollars renovating the six-story property. Bays also focused on attracting new tenants to fill the professional office space on the first four levels.
He is converting the two floors into high-end apartment units.
One of Bays’ new anchor tenants is the Will County Superintendent of Schools Office, which is on the fourth floor.
On Monday, Joliet Patch interviewed Howard, who is now in her second full week at the Two Rialto Square Building. She signed a multi-year lease with Bays.
“We really love it actually,” Howard said. “The transition has been great. John Bays and his employees have been fabulous. They moved us, hung pictures for us, hauled garbage out. They have really just made it so easy and comfortable.”
At Two Rialto Square, the Joliet Chamber has four employee offices, one conference room and a small kitchen, plus there’s a large storage area in the basement.
The Chamber is leasing about 2,000 square feet of space from Bays, Howard said.
A downtown Joliet law firm, Granholm & Gynac, purchased the Joliet Chamber of Commerce building, Howard said.
That firm has been renting office space at 58 North Chicago St. and their current lease runs until September. Granholm & Gynac is a family and estate planing law firm.
“They have got big plans for renovating it, which will be great,” Howard said, referring to the old Chamber building. “They’re a young law firm that wants to grow.”
The Joliet Chamber moved into the first floor of the Two Rialto Square Building. Directly across the hallway, workers for Bays were busy Monday morning renovating the area that used to be the old Joliet Gallery Seven. Bays has said he plans put a fancy restaurant in the space formerly occupied as a local artist gallery.
“He’s very confident that a restaurant is going to move in across from us,” Howard told Joliet Patch on Monday. “He’s got interest.”
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