Block 37 goes belly up

block37.jpg

Block 37 before government got its hands on it. It didn't look great, but it was an active urban block, providing jobs and tax revenues.

Bank of America N.A. and a group of lenders have moved to foreclose on
the retail and transit portion of the mixed-use development that occupies the square block opposite of what used to be Marshall Field's department store. (Story here.)

This should be no surprise; city government has been trying to develop the property for decades, with no success. The CTA superstation under Block 37 is $300 million in the red, and it's being mothballed. Meanwhile, private sector developments throughout downtown have blossomed.

Good thing that government isn't getting involved in something a lot more important and expensive like, say, health care.

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  • Yes, because those geniuses at Bank of America have done such a bang up job that they never needed billions of dollars of tax payer money to remain solvent.

    Seriously, do you edit your work for irony at all before you hit post?

  • Oh, you mean the Bank of American that was forced by the government to swallow Merrill Lynch whole, with its huge executive bonuses and gigantic losses with promises that they would have access for hundreds of billions of dollars of TARP money? Yeah, that was a real smart move by government. Must reading: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/21/feds-threatened-to-oust-bofa-execs-over-merrill-de/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_headlines

  • If we ever want the billions of dollars that were invested in Bank Of America to find its way back into the treasury, they have to be empowered to run their business. If they start letting people just stop paying and then don't take the collateral to at least recover SOME of the loan money, you'll never see it returned.

    Don't think the banks are really paying it back? The banks that have paid it back so far (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Express, and at least 20 other banks) have paid around 12% interest for the funds they borrowed resulting in BILLIONS in profits to the US Treasury.

    Citigroup (hasn't paid it back yet) has returned a profit of almost $11 billion itself to the treasury in payments, dividends, and share appreciation. All total, as of August, about 500 banks have paid an additional $7.3 BILLION in dividends to the government for their 'investments' as well. TARP was a loan or investment that ultimately costs the banks money, not a giveaway.

    Its similar to the way banks lend to people giving them a credit line that the people use during hard times to survive and then pay back when they have the $$$ to do so. (Think a secured credit card... a really big one with interest).

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