Prism Development Wins in Court Over Ritz-Carlton Residences

by Chicago Agent


Prism Development, the developer behind the Ritz-Carlton Residences on Michigan Avenue, has prevailed in a lawsuit with landowners The Terra Foundation.

The developer of the Ritz-Carlton Residences won its dispute with the Terra Foundation on Friday – according to Crain’s, a judge ruled that Prism Development could bar construction workers from retail and office space in the Michigan Avenue project.

Last Monday, the Terra Foundation asked for and won a temporary restraining order forcing the developer of the luxury high-rise, Chicago-based Prism Development Co., to allow workers into the commercial space, which the foundation has agreed to buy. But the order ran out on Friday, and Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Mikva refused to extend it because it put Terra’s workers “at an unfair advantage,” she said in the courtroom.

Prism Development – Terra Foundation Lawsuit

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, located at 664 N. Michigan Ave., which includes 89 high-end condominiums, is nearly complete, but the legal dispute has prevented condo buyers from closing on their units and moving in, as well as the retail space occupants, Loft and Tommy Bahama, from finishing construction.

The Terra Foundation, meanwhile, is buying the building’s retail and office space under a 2005 agreement, but Prism Development, arguing that the foundation refuses to close on the transaction, won’t allow workers on site to finish the commercial space, complicating matters for retailers Tommy Bahama and Loft, which have agreed to open stores there.

But Terra says it won’t close because the commercial space hasn’t been completed under the terms of its purchase agreement.

“They should not be allowed to be in the space unless they show up at closing and pay for the space,” Prism Development’s lawyer, David Gustman, a partner at Chicago-based Freeborn & Peters LLP, argued before Judge Mikva today, according to Crain’s.

In a statement, Doug Wood, president and chief operating officer of Tommy Bahama Group Inc., a unit of Atlanta-based Oxford Industries Inc., said, “We’re hoping the two parties can reach an agreement quickly so we can have the store open by Christmas.”

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