Delays at Block 37 May Put Deal in Jeopardy

June 12, 2006

A block in downtown Chicago that's been vacant for years could lose one of the main businesses planning to locate there.

The vacant block, called Block 37, has housed an ice skating rink and a children's art program, while the city searched for developers for years.

Now it's finally under construction, and the investment research firm Morningstar is supposed to be one of the main tenants.

But Crain's Chicago Business reports that construction delays and financing problems could jeopardize that.

The developer, Mills Corp., is up for sale, and is asking Morningstar for more time to finish the building.

Morningstar spokeswoman Margaret Kirch Cohen says the firm wants to be part of Block 37.

But she says the lease agreement obligates the developer to deliver the building by a certain date. If not, she says Morningstar is confident it can find other spaces to rent.

A city planning spokeswoman says the city is pleased with the progress.

Mills Corporation did not immediately have someone available for comment.