Hibernian’s Lakeview condo development delayed by faulty survey work: lawsuit

An inaccurate land survey caused the city to rezone the wrong lot — significantly delaying the project, the suit claims

1342 West Belmont Avenue and an illustration of a surveyor (Credit: Lowe Group Chicago and iStock)
1342 West Belmont Avenue and an illustration of a surveyor (Credit: Lowe Group Chicago and iStock)

A “drastically inaccurate” land survey caused significant delays to Hibernian Development’s Lakeview mixed-use project, according to a lawsuit filed against the surveyor by the developer.

Chicago-based Hibernian hired McTigue & Associates to conduct a land survey for its four-story condo-and-retail development at 1342 West Belmont Avenue. The work McTigue produced, however, was so inaccurate it caused the city to rezone the wrong lot, causing a more than 10-month delay and costing Hibernian $1 million, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County.

In September 2015, Hibernian closed on the property at 1342 West Belmont with plans to construct a six-unit condo building with ground-floor commercial space. The following month, Hibernian hired McTigue to do a land survey that was needed for a rezoning request, according to the lawsuit.

That survey report included the wrong lot numbers and miscalculated the distance from Southport Avenue, the lawsuit alleges.

The error was not caught, and the survey was submitted to the city as part of Hibernian’s rezoning request. The city approved the rezoning, according to the suit.

After being granted the rezoning, Hibernian moved forward with building plans and begin to apply for building permits. The firm enlisted subcontractors and set a start date of May 1, 2016 with a delivery date of Jan. 1, 2017, according to the suit.

Hibernian was issued a demolition permit for the site, but in May 2016 city officials told the developer’s architect the surveys included in the application were inaccurate.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

As a result, the city rezoned the wrong lots, the suit claims. That meant that Hibernian had to start over with the rezoning process.

McTigue submitted a revised survey, but it still contained an inaccurate measurement of the distance from Southport Avenue, the suit alleges. Eventually, Hibernian received its necessary rezoning and permits by August 2016 — about four months after its scheduled construction start date.

A representative for McTigue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Losing the summer construction months was “devastating,” the lawsuit said. Construction began that winter but encountered numerous weather-related delays, the lawsuit says.

The final occupancy permit was issued for the development on Nov. 9, 2017 — more than 10 months after the original planned delivery date, according to the lawsuit.

The delay caused significant additional expenses for Hibernian, including insurance and debt service on the project, the lawsuit claims. The firm also lost the ability to look for future development opportunities in spring and summer 2017 while it worked to complete the Belmont project, according to the suit.

Hibernian estimated its losses from the delays at $1 million.

Units in 1342 West Belmont Avenue have three bedrooms and two bathrooms with heated floors and balconies, according to listings for the units. The condos have sold for $750,000-$865,000, according to the listings.