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Say So Long to the Prairie Blocks Mega Development

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Love it or hate it (it's certainly a throw-away design), the McCormick Place-adjacent proposal known as Prairie Blocks is likely to go dormant for a while. The venture, led by owner/investors Pam Gleichman and Karl Norberg, will almost certainly face foreclosure suit following a bankruptcy judge's dismissal of their Chapter 11 filing, reports Crain's. Tied up in the courts for nearly two years, there was a growing expectation of such an outcome following the unsympathetic posture struck by the judge back in December. The lender, CenterPoint Properties Trust, is owed at least $50.5M. The judge ruled that Gleichman and Norberg had ample time to line up new investment to salvage the development and pay down the loan, given the parcel's "choice" location. In the same breath, he didn't fret the lost opportunity, believing it will one day prove the site of a "prosperous hotel". Hotel consultant Ted Mandigo isn't so sure: "They would have a very strong position during conventions," he said. "But they would be starving in between conventions."

Word of the development first broke last Fall, and boy did it aim high: 1,790 hotel rooms in two towers and 100,000-square-feet of commercial space at a cost of $550 million. More recent talk, involving out-of-town investor Winners Development, revolved around first stage delivery of a 900-room hotel. It's unclear what Centerpoint intends to do with the site once it takes possession.
·Owners poised to lose 'choice' site near McCormick Place [Crain's]
·Planning for Prairie Blocks development in South Loop [Curbed Chicago]