Block 37 Loses Largest Retail Tenant

David Barton Gym terminates its lease with the State Street project

By Matt Bartosik
|  Tuesday, Nov 25, 2008  |  Updated 8:09 AM CDT
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Block 37 Loses Largest Retail Tenant

WMAQ

Block 37 has had development problems for years.

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The 2.7-acre site across from Macy's on State Street has been vacant for nearly 20 years and is known simply as "Block 37." Joseph Freed and Associates LLC is the third developer to work on the site's most recent project, a 278,000-square-foot shopping center. However, the project has run into a snag once again.

David Barton Gym was the retail complex's first and largest retail tenant but has decided not to take the planned 40,000 square feet on the structure's top floor.

"Even though Block 37 has suffered a few delays, I do think that the project will be a success in the long term," company founder David Barton told the Chicago Tribune. "However, I have instead decided to focus on the Roosevelt Collection project, which will cover the region effectively and makes more sense for my growth strategy."

The Roosevelt Collection is an assortment of modern lofts and condos surrounded by shops and cafés in the South Loop.

An anonymous source states that the developer missed construction deadlines, allowing Barton to terminate the lease.

"We have been working with them since we took control and would like to retain them," Freed said in a released statement. "Recently the company has been trying to extricate itself by making various claims, but we understand the economy is the real factor here."

The project is scheduled to open next summer.

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