MCZ Development refused to pay contractor on Bucktown rental project: lawsuit

MCZ failed to pay for the contractor’s work, then failed to make good on a promissory note the two firms signed, the suit alleges

Chicago /
Feb.February 12, 2019 04:00 PM

2309 North Damen Avenue in Bucktown

MCZ Development is being sued by a contractor on a Bucktown apartment building who claims the developer is refusing to pay it for the work it did.

Chicago-based MCZ hired Accurate Construction to do work on the now-completed 30-unit complex at 2309 North Damen Avenue in Bucktown, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County. MCZ didn’t pay Accurate for its work, and instead of pursuing a lien on the Bucktown property, the construction firm entered into a promissory note in October 2017 that stipulated the firm be paid $240,000 by a certain date.

The due date for the payment was to be on or before MCZ refinanced a separate mixed-use project in Fulton Market, or by Feb. 10, 2018, the suit states. MCZ refinanced the building at 171 North Aberdeen Street with a $41 million loan in early December 2018, but the developer never made good on the promissory note, according to the lawsuit.

Accurate’s “repeated demands” for payment were not honored, the suit claims. Now the construction company is suing MCZ to recoup the payment for the services rendered, plus legal fees and court costs.

MCZ Development was founded by Michael Lerner in 1985. Lerner was credited by the New York Times with starting the residential development craze in Fulton Market in the late 1990’s.

MCZ is working on a plan to convert the vacant Edgewater Medical Center into 141 apartments. It also has proposed a 16-unit condo building in a historic Ukrainian Village Building, and it is redeveloping the former sausage factory across the street from the Aberdeen Street building at the center of the lawsuit.

Lerner could not be reached for comment.


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