THREATENED: Future Unclear for Superior Street Rowhouses After Bankruptcy Sale

“The site of a failed River North high-rise project is poised to be seized by lenders, the latest turn in a years-long saga that’s included a foreclosure and litigation from foreign investors in the unbuilt tower.

“A joint venture of New York-based Madison Realty Capital and Arena Investors will take control of the property at the northeast corner of Wabash Avenue and Superior Street after no one matched the $7.5 million minimum bid at a sheriff’s sale Jan. 30. The court-ordered sale came more than three years after the lenders filed to foreclose on the property, alleging in 2019 that the development venture that owned the property defaulted on more than $22 million in debt.

“The would-be developers, New York attorney Jeffrey Laytin and Chicago investor Jason Wei Ding, unveiled plans for a 60-story hotel and condominium tower on the site in 2017. But the project faced an uphill battle from the start. Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, rejected the proposal, and a city panel assigned landmark status to two historic buildings on the development site, blocking the developers’ plans to demolish them.

“Two ventures with interests in the property filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last May, which delayed the foreclosure proceedings for several months.

“Preservation advocates and business owners who are tenants in the buildings on the site at 42 and 44-46 E. Superior St., which date back to the 1870s and 1880s, opposed the development plans and still want to see the buildings preserved. Bryan Sord, owner of the Sunny Side Up restaurant at 42 E. Superior, attended the auction and said he would be interested in working out a deal to buy the building from the lenders to ensure that the restaurants’ owners, he and his ex-wife Maria Sord, can keep the business going.

“‘It’s time to really look at how we can engage these buildings once again,’ said Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago.” (Herzog, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1/30/24)

Read the full story at Crain’s Chicago Business

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