• 50-year-old Evergreen Plaza Losing its Vibrancy, Faces Foreclosure

    A lender filed a foreclosure suit against Evergreen Plaza and placed its $20 million loan up for sale. The suit is an attempt to end a long-running loan dispute with the owner of the mall.

    Real estate firm CB Richard Ellis Inc. is marketing the past-due loan on the mall, which is located at 9500 S. Western Ave. in Evergreen Park. The current owners started to miss mortgage payments in 2009.

    CB Richard Ellis is marketing the 30.2-acre site for redevelopment. The center is now simply called the Plaza and is 62% leased. There are four tenants with leases that run past 2014, including Carson Pirie Scott & Co.

    The partners that own the mall proposed redeveloping one end of the property into a 220,000 square-foot open-air shopping center with big-box retailers as part of loan restructuring. However, the proposal has been rejected by Helios AMC, which is handling the loan for investors. The loan was purchased to be part of a pool of commercial mortgage-backed securities. At this time, no foreclosure help is forthcoming.

    The partnership is hoping to team up with an investor to buy the note and fund the redevelopment project.

    Arthur Rubloff developed Evergreen Plaza in 1952 as an outdoor mall. It became one of the first regional malls in the country after he enclosed it in the 1960’s.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago foreclosure lawyer

  • Think Global Electric Car Company Files for Bankruptcy

    Electric carmaker Think Global AS, who launched its North American operations in Elkhart, Indiana, filed for bankruptcy on June 22, 2011. The company filed in its home country of Norway.

    Think North America unit is not affected by the bankruptcy. It will remain a separate legal entity with offices in suburban Detroit and the plant in Indiana. The bankruptcy trustee will determine the future of the North American operations.

    Think Global’s exclusive battery supplier Ener1 released a statement that Think Global plans to liquidate its assets. Ener1 filed notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange commission that it expected its customer to liquidate.

    The filing states Think is liquidating after an “extended and ultimately unsuccessful search for long-term financing.”

    Ener1 notified investors that the company is taking a charge of over $32 million on unpaid loans and accounts receivables from Think Global. The company does not anticipate much of a recovery from the liquidation.

    Think’s only model, the City, had modest successes in California and Europe. However, an unknown price tag and competition from the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf made selling the cars a difficult task. Not even a government contract to supply electric vehicles could keep Think Global AS from filing for bankruptcy.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney