Troubled Retail Component of Downtown Chicago Project Gets $145M Loan

Canyon‐Johnson Urban Funds and McCaffery Interests, the owners of the Roosevelt Collection in Chicago’s South Loop, have closed on a senior loan reported to be $145 million.

Canyon‐Johnson Urban Funds and McCaffery Interests, the owners of the Roosevelt Collection in Chicago’s South Loop, have closed on a senior loan, being reported as $145 million, with Prime Finance to reposition the mixed-use development’s 400,000-square-foot retail portion.

Although the Roosevelt Collection’s 342 residential units reportedly are more than 90 percent occupied, the retail side has been moribund, its only current tenant a movie theater. The development also includes a 1,500-space parking garage and land for a public park. The owners have also secured approvals to construct another residential tower on the site at Wells Street and Roosevelt Road.

The $350 million transit-oriented project — located near the Roosevelt stop on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Green, Red and Orange lines — started to run into trouble not long after ground was broken by Chicago’s Centrum Properties in the boom year of 2007. Unable to cover its construction loan, the developer sold the property to its current owners in June 2011 for a figure reported as between $160 million and $175 million.

Demolition of the project’s interior shop space is complete, and construction has begun on a new public plaza that will included landscaped areas, water features and children’s play areas. The improvements are scheduled for completion by the end of the summer, at which time the CJUF/McCaffery venture hopes to have the project 65 percent leased.

Just who those retailers will be has been a hot topic of speculation in the yuppified South Loop. A local blog reported recently, based on a reported accidental leak in a McCaffery promotional piece, that the possibilities, if not actual signed tenants, include H&M, Ulta, Ann Taylor, Lululemon, Aveda, Bath & Body Works, Anthropologie, Sports Authority, Lettuce Entertain You, The Limited, Victoria’s Secret, Joseph A. Bank, Vapiano, White House Black Market, ZGallerie, Republic of Couture and Arhaus.