JOLIET – Following today’s (Thursday, May 15) meeting of the Will County Board, County Executive Larry Walsh and First Midwest Bank President Jim Roolf signed an agreement to purchase the bank’s building at Ottawa and Jefferson Streets in downtown Joliet. This purchase is a result of many years of negotiations by both entities.
“I am proud to sign this agreement today to move forward on a vision for a modern and accessible county justice campus,” Walsh said. “I know it has been a priority for Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt to build a new courthouse that will accommodate the needs of our residents now and well into the future. With this action, we are taking another step forward.”
Roolf said he is pleased to finalize the agreement with Will County. The sale of this building will allow First Midwest Bank to proceed with its future plans as well.
“This is truly a win/win situation for First Midwest Bank, the City of Joliet, and Will County,” said Roolf. “As the banking industry has changed so has the physical needs of our institution. We are happy Will County will be able to use this property to build a state-of-the-art courthouse that will accommodate its growing population. Will County, Joliet and First Midwest Bank have always been good partners, and this is another prime example of this continued cooperation.”
The First Midwest Bank building was identified as a prime location for a future justice campus in a facility needs study that was conducted last year.
“This agreement marks an important step forward in realizing this vision for the future of county government and the viability of Joliet as its county seat,” said Denise Winfrey, chairman of the County Board’s Capital Improvements Committee. “I am proud of this agreement for the benefit of all county residents.”
Schoenstedt said plans for a new justice campus are already in the works and finalizing the purchase of this building is significant step in the process.
“With the acquisition of the First Midwest Building, Will County will be able to give its residents what they deserve: a safe, modern courthouse,” Schoenstedt said. “We have outgrown our current courthouse by nearly a half million residents and we need a new courthouse that will accommodate our growing population which is projected to reach one million people in the next ten years. A new courthouse will be completely in compliance with the safety standards that have been set forth by the Illinois Supreme Court.”
Will County has made a strong commitment to its county seat in downtown Joliet as reflected by the recent purchase of the former Social Security Building on Scott Street.
“This County Board is charged with the task of providing safe and convenient services for all of its residents,” said Jim Moustis, County Board Republican Caucus Chairman. “We are dedicated to ensuring county government runs efficiently.”
Walsh applauded the County Board for approving this agreement to move this project forward.
“In Will County, we know how to work together to get the job done,” he said. “The continued successful relationships between local business leaders, city leaders, and county officials enable us to maintain our dedication to providing the best services possible for all who live, work, and do business in Will County.”