Foreclosure suit throws another wrench in beleaguered River North tower

Investors, preservationists, the local alderman and now lenders have mired NY-based developer’s plan for an 60-story tower

TRD CHICAGO /
Jul.July 05, 2019 04:00 PM
Jeffrey Laytin, director of Symmetry Property Development and 42 East Superior Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Jeffrey Laytin, director of Symmetry Property Development and 42 East Superior Street (Credit: Google Maps)

A second lender is filing to foreclose on a River North site owned by Symmetry Property Development, setting another roadblock in front of the firm’s plan to build a 60-story hotel-condo tower on the site.

An affiliate of New York-based Arena Investors filed Monday alleging that Symmetry owes it $13 million after defaulting on its mortgage for the site at 42 East Superior Street, according to Crain’s. The lender made the claim a month after Madison Realty Capital filed a similar lawsuit, alleging that Symmetry owes about $8.7 million, including interest and late fees, after missing payments.

The foreclosure bids are the latest problem for the New York-based development firm, which is also facing a lawsuit from 60 Chinese investors demanding to know what happened to the nearly $50 million they pumped into the project through the federal EB-5 program.

The developer is also still seeking support from Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd), who last year downzoned the property to block the proposal. And a city commission gave preliminary approval in March for a proposal by preservationists to landmark the existing buildings on the site, which would hamstring any development.

Symmetry maintains that it did not default on its debt, and it denies any other wrongdoing. A spokesperson told Crain’s that the firm “continues to work with the alderman’s office to get the project approved and believes it will ultimately be successful in doing so.”

The proposed tower would include 246 condos, 216 hotel rooms and 120 timeshare units. [Crain’s]Alex Nitkin 


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