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Crain’s article regarding empty Piser funeral home site at Foster/Broadway

Mutual Bank alleges loan default on Edgewater site
From the Crain’s Chicago Business Newsroom
July 15, 2009
By Thomas A. Corfman and Samantha Sleevi
(Crain’s) — Mutual Bank has filed a foreclosure suit to collect more than $7 million on an Edgewater site that a North Side developer acquired at the top of the market, only to see his plans for a $40-million residential/retail project frustrated first by neighborhood opposition and then the slowdown in the real estate market.

A venture led by Stuart Miller paid $7 million in 2005 for the parcel at 5200-46 N. Broadway St., which included a shuttered funeral home, Piser Weinstein Menorah Chapel, and a three-story apartment building.

Harvey-based Mutual Bank alleges its $6.7-million acquisition loan to Mr. Miller’s venture fell into default in October, when the venture failed to pay off the loan when it came due. Mr. Miller is a defendant in the case because he allegedly personally guaranteed the loan.

Mr. Miller, of Miller Group in Lincoln Park, declined to comment except to say that part of the site is not involved in the foreclosure case. An attorney in the Chicago office of law firm Foley & Lardner LLP, which represents Mutual Bank, did not return a call requesting comment.

Mr. Miller’s proposal for a five-story project that would have included first-floor retail space and condominiums on the upper floors met with strong criticism from local residents in the upscale Lakewood Balmoral neighborhood to the west, who objected to the project’s height.
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