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Posted on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 : 8:13 p.m.

Tale of two Chicago loans tells story about troubled Ashley Terrace in Ann Arbor, too

By Paula Gardner

Ashley Terrace 050610.JPG

Ashley Terrace.

Ann Arbor News file photo

Chicago-area bloggers are buzzing about Tuesday's Wall Street Journal article that outlines the lending issues behind two troubled projects in the Loop by Joseph Freed & Associates.

"BofA Gets Tough. PNC Doesn't. Why" explores why one lender is playing hardball with a $173 million loan - yet a block away, another bank is working with the developer on a $170 million loan.

While Chicago is a long ways from Ann Arbor in many ways, this story hits close to home here. This is where Freed still owns projects, including the troubled Ashley Terrace.

The mixed-use high-rise at the corner of North Ashley and West Huron made news this summer when lender Bank of America started foreclosure proceedings on a total of $20 million owed on the property. At the time, Freed controlled 28 of the 99 condos, as well as office space and retail space on lower levels.

At the same time, Freed has been publicly battling Bank of America over its takeover of Block 37 in Chicago.

Yet, as the Wall Street Journal illustrates, Freed is following a different, more collaborative path with a second Chicago development - The Sullivan Center - and its lender PNC Bank.

The reasons for the different approaches are outlined in the article. And, one presumes, it offers some insight into what is happening to Freed's Ann Arbor properties.

That's because while Ashley Terrace is going through its public upheaval, there's been no similar news about 411 Lofts or the Glen Ann property.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.



Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 7:11 a.m.

I'm concerned that the City is counting on the sale of property just accross the street for $3 million as part of the funding for the police/courts building. When this did not sell by last year they took a loan out to cover the shortfall on the apparent assumption that it would sell eventually. I cannot see why an investor would purchase that property any time in the near future for a similar mixed use if this property remains unoccupied and in finacial difficulty. I fear the taxpayers in A2 are going to have to sacrifice more services to cover this loan long-term.


Fri, Sep 24, 2010 : 9:35 a.m.

Ms. Gardner, in the 1st sentence, "by Joseph Freed & Associates." doesn't seem to make sense. Troubled projects BY a company? Unless the article was written by Freed, I think this sentence is wrong. 2nd sentence: "hardball a $173 million" is missing a "with," I think. 3rd sentence: I believe a writer for a paper would use "long way away" as opposed to "long ways away"

David Cahill

Fri, Sep 24, 2010 : 8:49 a.m.

Looks like more chickens are coming home to roost.


Fri, Sep 24, 2010 : 8:30 a.m.

Overpriced housing for the elite in a this-is-not-Chicago dissapointing downtown atmosphere worked by uncaring college kids.

Paula Gardner

Fri, Sep 24, 2010 : 7:37 a.m.

The headline from the WSJ story at the top of this item was linked - and I just made sure the bottom was, too.Thanks.

Bob Bethune

Fri, Sep 24, 2010 : 7:32 a.m.

The link at the end of the article labelled as pointing to Wall Street Journal content doesn't point to the Wall Street Journal. It points to an older article here on Links to the Chicago blog entries would also be much appreciated.


Fri, Sep 24, 2010 : 7:13 a.m.

While I have zero objections to multi-zoned PUDS within the city limits, this building is such a sham on so many levels that I really hope that future projects are more closely considered by city council prior to approval. To make a bad situation a bit better, I hope city council considers this building as a potential candidate for state subsidized low income housing and utilizes the former YMCA lot for the new, expanded library instead.