Since it broke ground in 2007, the South Loop's Roosevelt Collection has been a prominent reminder of the real estate world's trip over the cliff.
- Crain's first reported on the project in 2005. "The owner of one of the largest undeveloped properties in the South Loop is selling the land to developers," Crain's Alby Gallun reported. The developers included Chicago's Centrum Properties Inc., which wanted to build a 500,000-square-foot lifestyle shopping center at Roosevelt Road and Wells Street. The center proposed by Centrum was meant to mark "another step forward for the emerging Roosevelt Road retail corridor."
- The Roosevelt Collection ended up costing Centrum about $350 million to build.
- But even as Centrum built condos at the Collection, it was unable to lease much of the retail space as the recession hit.
In 2011, Crain's broke the news that Centrum was selling the project to local developer Dan McCaffery for an estimated price of $160 million to $175 million -- about half the $350 million it cost to build.
- The sale wiped out Centrum's entire investment and result in a huge loss for the lenders that loaned the developer $285 million to build the project. Crain's noted that the deal was "a stark example of how the inflated property values and easy-money lending practices of the previous decade have come back to haunt borrowers and lenders alike, forcing them to decide whether to fight it out in court or declare a truce, get what they can for a troubled property and move on."
The Roosevelt Collection was about 75 percent vacant when McCaffery Interests bought it.
- Earlier this year, Dan McCaffery began posting on the Roosevelt Collection's site about new construction, saying that he was aiming to have 75 percent of the retail spaced leased and operating in time for a Nov. 1 grand opening.
- The South Loop blog Sloopin reported in April that two retailers, including Apple and Akira, might be eyeing space there, too. Crain's confirmed that McCaffery Interests appeared to be substantially bulking up the retail tenants, with a Roosevelt Collection brochure boasting "an impressive list of retailers, including H&M and Lululemon."
With the Roosevelt Collection finally taking shape, many observers believe it's only a matter of time before the area becomes the South Side's answer to the busy North and Clybourn retail district near Lincoln Park.
- Earlier this week, Crain's learned that other tenants at the Roosevelt Collection will include Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. and running store Fleet Feet Sports:
- And last night, Crain's Micah Maidenberg reported that the Roosevelt Collection won't include an Apple store, but has been able to lease 56 percent of the property with other retailers and restaurants, including BlackFinn American Grill, Z Gallerie and Francesca's Collection.
- Reaction on Twitter so far has been generally positive: