Summit Improves Space at Troubled Block 37

October 5, 2010
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While some believe the legal battles regarding Chicago’s Block 37—the 280,000-square-foot retail building at State and Washington streets—are starting to wind down, more tenants are moving in. Summit Design + Build LL has completed two build-outs for tenants at the complex, and is currently working on three more.

The Loop neighborhood property, which also includes a new office building and a new Chicago Transit Authority pedestrian walkway and train connection, has had more than a few false starts and failed development plans. Now, Joseph Freed and Associates is fighting in court to retain its hold on the retail building, after Bank of America foreclosed because construction loan payments weren’t made. The court agreed to use broker CB Richard Ellis as a receiver, which has been handling leasing while the court battle continues.

But new tenants, including cosmetics company Sabon and a new fast-food franchise Beard Papa’s, still are moving into the retail building. In addition to build-out projects, Summit has been retained by CBRE to perform shell and core work for three new tenants: pan-Asian restaurant Simply Thalia; confectioner iCandylicious; and sandwich shop Which Wich. The stores join new tenants Anthropologie, Au Bon Pain, Sephora, and the Disney Store.

Adam Miller, president of Summit Design, says that although the tenant lineup at the site is building, the stores are suffering because of the legal action. Three anchor tenants, including a movie theater, popular gym, and food court, have all been held up or canceled because of the foreclosure activity. And it may take another year or more before it is resolved.