Ross Dress for Less coming to Joliet; other projects in the works

Karen Sorensen | 12/30/2014, 10:41 p.m.
Mayor Tom Giarrante said there are potential developers consider the Crabigale's building and another city-owned property and a company owner ...
Ross Dress for Less is to move into the Plainfield Road storefront being vacated by OfficeMax, Mayor Tom Giarrante said.

A Ross Dress for Less store is set to fill the soon-to-be-vacant OfficeMax location, potential buyers are in the wings to purchase two city-owned buildings and a national company is considering Joliet for its corporate headquarters, Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante said.

In other words, 2015 could end up being a very good year for new development -- depending on how things end up shaking out, Giarrante said.

The only close-to-being-done deal is the one that will place Ross, a national discount clothing store chain, into the 2805 Plainfield Road location that's being vacated in mid-January by the office supply company, which is downsizing following a merger with Office Depot earlier this year.

No permits have been pulled to remodel the space, and Giarrante said he did not know the timetable for when the store will open.

More tenuous are two developers who have expressed interest in cutting deals with the city to purchase the former Crabigale's Comedy Club building at Chicago and Cass streets and a vacant four-story building near Clinton Street and and Eastern Avenue, he said.

He described the potential buyers are "serious" and both would open restaurants on the first floors of both buildings.

"They're both crunching numbers to see if they can do it," Giarrante said.

The Crabigale's building was close to being sold this past year and opened as the Lockdown Bar & Grill, but the Chicago-based partners backed out of the deal in order to take another investment opportunity. The city planned to cut a deal in which the purchase price would be recouped by the owners in exchange for the money they would put into the renovation, including the removal of asbestos from the upper floors.

Whether similar deals would likely be offered to the two new potential buyers was not disclosed by Giarrante but would seem likely.

In two weeks, the mayor said he would be meeting with the owner of a company who's interested in relocating his corporate headquarters to a location off Interstate 80. Giarrante would not provide the company name or the exact location, but stressed they are very interested in the spot they're considering.

"They are serious about Joliet," he said. "They would bring about 100 jobs, good-paying quality jobs."

Contact Karen Sorensen at Karen@TheTimesWeekly.com.