CRYSTAL LAKE – Local officials reached a deal Tuesday evening that they said will solidify the future of the Raue Center for the Arts.
The Crystal Lake Civic Center Authority approved the termination of an existing lease between the CLCCA and Raue Center, then approved the execution of a similar, long-term lease between the CLCCA and Home State Bank. Both actions were unanimous.
“The intention is that Home State Bank will sublease the property to the Raue, so the Raue will continue on uninterrupted, as they have for many years,” Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley said. “Home State Bank will now effectively have control of that property for the length of that [agreement].”
The nonprofit Raue Center will pay Home State Bank $100 a year in rent, and it will pay taxes and fees related to the property at 26 N. Williams St. in downtown Crystal Lake.
The pact could outlast everyone involved in it. Assuming optional extensions are picked up, the deal would go through the year 2117.
Shepley said the deal ultimately will benefit the city because there have been times where the city was called on to pay for improvements to the building.
That will not happen again.
“Home State Bank has accepted full responsibility for the maintenance of the building,” Shepley said.
Several members of the CLCCA and Raue Center said the deal is beneficial to the CLCCA, the Raue Center and the city.
Raue Center board president Tim Paul said it has been a rocky couple of years for the center, but all parties worked together and proved that Crystal Lake is the type of community that comes together for the common good.
“We just solidified the arts [in Crystal Lake] for the next 50 to 100 years,” Paul said. “It’s worked out best for all parties involved. Now all we have to do is enjoy going to the theater.”
Since 2001, the Raue Center has leased the building at triple net, which requires the nonprofit organization to pay expenses, real estate taxes, maintenance and repairs. The Raue Center has been paying down the renovation debt on the building for the past
In November, the Raue Center asked the community for support in its effort to seek more funding from the city. The city gives $151,000 annually to the center.
But plans to ask the city for more money were called off when an anonymous donor stepped up to fill a funding gap.