One of Chicago’s most active development firms has acquired a 153-unit luxury apartment project in Skokie, and is now on the hunt for a construction loan amid the economic tumult the pandemic has created.
John Murphy, head of Murphy Development Group, is looking for a $45 million loan to build the 12-story complex at 8000 N. Lincoln Ave., according to Crain’s. The company took over the $73 million project from developer Norm Hassinger and Greenspire Capital, which had collaborated with Skokie officials on the development, and began work in May 2018, the outlet reported.
The project, called the Lucien Lagrange, would have 14,300 square feet of retail and was expected to be completed in December 2019, according to its website. The village agreed to kick in $5 million in tax-increment financing.
While foundation work has been done and the garage nearly finished, the construction loan was never obtained. With the coronavirus having seized up the U.S. economy, lending markets have clamped down and thousands of commercial real estate borrowers are now looking for help to make their monthly mortgage payments. Loan servicers are working with borrowers on existing loans and are scrutinizing the impact Covid-19 has had on their ability to pay, according to a recent TRD Talks Live panel that covered the current commercial mortgage brokerage industry.
Murphy told Crain’s that lenders are cautious, asking for “a couple of months to breathe” to allow for the crisis to subside, but he is hopeful.
Murphy is also in the middle of a $1 billion redevelopment of the long vacant Cook County Hospital in Chicago, where he will bring hotels, offices, and retail. Last year, Murphy also filed plans for an office building in Fulton Market that would include 96,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman