Investor discontent: Site of Related’s The 78 faces another legal hurdle

A group of early investors in the property say owner General Mediterranean Holding iced them out of their stakes

Apr.April 29, 2019 11:00 AM
General Mediterranean Holding's Nadhmi Auchi and a rendering of the 78 (Credit: The 78 and Nadhmi Auchi Foundation)

General Mediterranean Holding’s Nadhmi Auchi and a rendering of the 78 (Credit: The 78 and Nadhmi Auchi Foundation)

A group of early investors in the site of Related Midwest’s The 78 megaproject is suing the property owner, saying they were iced out of the development just as their investment is set to pay off.

The investors are suing Luxembourg-based General Mediterranean Holding, which has controlled the long-vacant site on the South Branch of the Chicago River since 2006, according to Crain’s.

The plaintiffs said they invested $2.4 million in 2006 and waited as the site endured a number of legal and political controversies. GMH, led by billionaire Nadhmi Auchi, eventually dissolved the venture they had invested in, without their consent and without paying them back for their investment, the suit alleges.

The plaintiffs are Illinois residents Ali and Darlene Baghdadi, Chicago marketing firm Coverdell CEO Vincent DiBenedetto, and Michael Henneman,, who is chairman of Champaign-based real estate investment firm Royal Properties, according to Crain’s.

The suit does not name Related Midwest, which is now partnering with GMH to develop the $7 billion The 78. [Crain’s] — John O’Brien

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