Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins' Michael A. Marrs and Gregory T. Smith helped the City of Aurora negotiate a number of agreements to facilitate the adaptive reuse of a building in the city’s downtown as part of the Aurora Art Center project.

The project involved the transformation of an 80,000-square-foot building into a space that houses a 25,000-square-foot school for the performing arts, 8,000 square feet of rehearsal space for the Paramount Theater, a space anticipated for a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, practice rooms, recital rooms and 38 apartments for working artists.

The complicated project involved a number of parties and local financing sources, grants, loans, New Markets Tax Credits financing, federal Section 108 loans and some HUD-related work.

Landmarks Illinois, a membership-based nonprofit organization that helps preserve historic places, recently gave the project one of nine Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards given statewide in 2020.