Block 37: No Apple? No Lululemon.

Another retailer pulls out of Loop project

By Matt Bartosik
|  Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009  |  Updated 9:45 AM CDT
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Block 37: No Apple? No Lululemon.

WMAQ

Lululemon, a yoga clothing retailer, is accusing Block 37 developers of duping them into signing a lease, promising them a location next to Apple.

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Will no Apple today keep the lemon away?

Lululemon USA Inc., a yoga clothing retailer based in Canada, is the second tenant to cancel its plans to open a store in the new mall. (David Barton Gym, the first and largest tenant, pulled out in November.)

The retailer's agreement to a small, first-level store was contingent on its proximity to an Apple retail store, according to a lawsuit Lululemon filed in federal court.

But in December, Lululemon learned that Apple Inc. had never planned on opening a store at Block 37 and didn't even sign a lease.

"Defendant (a Freed venture called 108 N. State Retail LLC) represented to Lululemon that Apple would be opening for business at the shopping center, that Apple would be located immediately next to Lululemon, and that Apple had executed a lease," the lawsuit says. "When defendant made these representations, defendant knew they were false and made them with the intent to deceive and defraud and induce Lululemon to execute the lease."

According to the Chicago Tribune, Apple spokesperson Amy Bessette said, "We haven't made any announcements about a store at that location."

Freed has declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the company had not yet seen the lawsuit.

At this rate, the shopping center at Block 37 will contain nothing but empty storefronts.

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and "between blogs" blogger, thinks dumping money into a giant hole would be more productive than Block 37.

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