UGH when will this ever end???
Block 37 developer Joseph Freed and Associates loses control of retail project
Bank of America wins ruling appointing CB Richard Ellis as receiver; Freed vows to appeal
By Julie Wernau and Sandra M. Jones
November 21, 2009
In a major setback to its urban ambitions, Joseph Freed and Associates LLC lost control of the long-troubled Block 37 project just as the first stores prepared to open.
Cook County Circuit Judge Margaret Brennan ruled Friday that Freed didn't have the means to see the cash-strapped project through to completion and instead placed it in the hands of a receiver, CB Richard Ellis, a real estate broker and property manager. Freed vowed to appeal.
"We strongly disagree with the court's ruling," said Larry Freed, president of Joseph Freed. "We are the only developer in two decades to move Block 37 forward."
Freed said the mall developer "will fight to protect our rights, reputation and investment."
A partial certificate of occupancy was issued Friday, and Freed will continue to operate the property over the weekend. Workers were mopping the underground pedway on Friday evening, and some people were walking through. Freed said the area will be open to the public, along with some retailers, Saturday. He said he had approximately 70 percent of the project committed, with a mix of retailers.
Shirley Norton, a spokeswoman for Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, said the bank was pleased with the ruling but declined further comment.
Bank of America has agreed to see the project through to completion.