Still no decision on land near McCormick Place
A bankruptcy judge once again deferred a decision on a disputed hotel development site next to McCormick Place, giving the property's owner until next Wednesday to come up with a feasible plan to pay off its creditors.
Judge Jack Schmetterer on Thursday told lawyers representing developers Pam Gleichman and Karl Norberg that they must provide more solid evidence that a planned sale of the property just north of the convention hall will happen, allowing the husband-and-wife team to pay off lender CenterPoint Properties Trust, which has been trying to foreclose on the site for nearly four years.
Under a proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan, a venture led by the couple would sell the property in two transactions to developers that would build two hotels there. The site also has been mentioned as a possible location for a new arena for DePaul University's basketball team.
CenterPoint, which claims the couple owes it more than $80 million, wants the judge to dismiss the case and allow it to foreclose on the property, arguing that the buyers have too much room to wiggle out of their purchase agreements.
“This case has a business strategy of nothing but delay, your honor,” CenterPoint's lawyer, David Heroy, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP, told the judge Thursday.
Judge Schmetterer dismissed the Chapter 11 case in court about a month ago but has held off on a final ruling to give Ms. Gleichman and Mr. Norberg more time to produce documents showing they can pull off the deals.
Yet he has shared CenterPoint's skepticism, expressing doubt at one point Thursday about a letter of credit that the developers say would back one of the sales.
“You have not buttoned it down at all,” the judge told the couple's lawyers.
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