Block of Chicago Real Estate Auctioned Off

March 23, 2011

Bank of America went shopping today.

The conglomerate purchased Chicago’s Block 37 mall at a sheriff’s auction for $100 million. It was the lone bid.

The auction was supposed to take place in February, but you remember that little blizzard that shutdown the city? It also forced the postponement of the auction until today.

The four-level shopping center, located at 108 N. State St. in the Loop, had been under the threat of foreclosure for more than a year. In December, a court-appointed receiver took control of the property.

Apparently, the previous owners, Chicago-based developer Joseph Freed and Associates, had defaulted on a $205 million construction loan with Bank of America.

The owner prior to that, Mills Corp., who had purchased the vacant land from the city in 2005, also had financial issues and had to sell. Having already broken ground on the mixed-use site of residential, retail, office and hotel, Mills sold the retail portion to Freed & Associates and the office portion to Chicago-based Golub & Company.

The office portion was not part of today’s sale.

Bordered by State, Randolph, Dearborn and Washington streets, Block 37 opened in November 2009 with a few stores and today offers an eclectic mix of shopping, dining and entertainment, as well as a pedway and the WBBM-Channel 2 TV studios.

Block 37 is one of the original 58 city blocks established in 1830, ergo the name.

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