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Jan. 10, 2018 #61-9 a2z
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Terrance Hooper, left, and sister Amy Rauch purchased the Majestic Theater property.
Daily Journal/Tiffany Blanchette
Majestic gets new ownership

The Majestic Theatre property in downtown Kankakee has new ownership as well as a new name.

Brother-and-sister team Terrance Hooper and Amy Rauch, both of Kankakee, had been operating the 8,000-square-foot banquet facility named "The Majestic," and they have purchased the remainder of the 30,000-square-foot complex from Bourbonnais businessman Tom Shamblin.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

In a nod to history, the building's name will also be changed from the Majestic Center to Burnfield & Remington. W.F. Burnfield was the building's architect. Julia Remington was its first owner when it opened as the Remington Theatre in May 1912.

Operators of the banquet facility since May, and owners of the downtown wine bar since 2014, Grapes & Hops, the pair said the complex has nearly unlimited possibilities.

The building has 24 separate offices-restaurants-business locations, 21 of which are leased.

Business space ranges from 1,700 square feet, the size of Stefari Cafe, to as little as 200, the 41-year-old Hooper noted.

While they are only beginning to develop a comprehensive plan for the entire three levels, Hooper is looking to develop more retail alternatives for the ground-level floor.

"We want businesses that are retail-based, open daily," he said.

He is thinking about options such as a candy shop, a bakery, ice cream, perhaps coffee or tea, or maybe some type of clothing shop.

"To do what we wanted here, we wanted to own the building," Hooper said. "I believe we can wrap this building with complementary businesses. I believe we can take our expertise and expand it to help other."

He is also exploring the concept of establishing a small area — perhaps 200 to 300 square feet for something he termed a "pop-up shop." This space could be leased for as little as a few hours or as long as a month or so for prospective business owners to see if their concept is one that could take flight.

He said the space could also be used for more established businesses looking to get into a different section of the market.

"This could be used for small retail, an artist, a tasting event, a musician," he said. "It can be almost whatever you imagine it to be. Let's see what people come up with. There is so much potential here."

Hooper and Rauch had been contemplating taking over the entire building for about three months.

Shamblin, of Bourbonnais, purchased the property in April 2009 from Tim Schmidt. Basically, Shamblin helped bring the building into prominence.

"I felt I did something to help the downtown," Shamblin said. "These two are young and energetic people. It will be improved. I think it will be in good hand and hopefully they will make it better, bring more activity. I wish them well."

Hooper estimates $40,000 to $50,000 will be invested this year for flooring and painting. He said the building will remain open throughout.

"This is a huge task, but we are ready. We are ready for the challenge," he said.

Said Rauch: "There are a ton of challenges, but we are not ones to give up. We are not afraid to do work ourselves.

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