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Groupon co-founder to head state innovation panel

Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to announce during his budget address Wednesday the creation of an innovation council to be headed by Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell.

Part of the council’s job will be to determine what kind of projects the state needs to support to be able to compete in the global market place, such as developing new technologies in agriculture, finance or in a combination of industries. Get the full story »

Southeast S. leaders call meeting on coal-to-gas plant

Community leaders on the Southeast Side — angry that they were not asked to weigh in on a coal gasification project touted as a benefit to the neighborhood –  have called a meeting to discuss the environmental and economic impacts of the proposed plant.

Environmental and health groups are expected to speak at the event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the The Zone at Southeast United Methodist Church and Community Center at 11731 S. Avenue O. Get the full story »

Daley panel to explore tech park on Reese site

John Byrne | Clout Street | Mayor Richard Daley has put together a group of business leaders and university officials to advise the city on turning the vacant Michael Reese Hospital site into a technology park for businesses.

Daley has discussed the possibility of a tech park on the Near South Side lakefront parcel since shortly after the city’s 2016 Olympics bid failed. The Michael Reese site had been tapped to be the Olympic Village for athletes, and the city paid $91 million to acquire it.

Chicago Spire developer loses control of site

A view of the uncompleted Spire development's foundation, Sep. 17, 2010. (Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune)

Irish developer Garrett Kelleher’s company has lost control of the site on which he expected to build the Chicago Spire.

A Cook County Circuit Court judge has granted a request by Anglo Irish Bank Corp. Ltd., the lender to Kelleher’s Shelbourne North Water Street L.P., and appointed a receiver for the infamous hole in the ground that was supposed to become a twisting skyscraper addition to the city’s skyline.

Meanwhile, two local firms have purchased the delinquent property taxes on the stalled development site at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, setting up a process for the bank or others to redeem the taxes. Get the full story »

Pentagon: ‘Clerical error’ won’t hurt tanker bid

Bloomberg | Chicago-based Boeing Co. and European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Co. shouldn’t see any significant fallout from a “clerical error” releasing some data on their bids for a $35 billion aerial tanker program, the Defense Department said. The Air Force disclosed Nov. 19 that the service mistakenly provided Boeing and EADS with “a limited amount” of data on the offers that are now under government review.

JW Marriott hotel to open in Burnham’s bank building

JW Marriott will open its first branded hotel in Chicago Nov. 11, a 610-room facility in Daniel Burnham’s Continental & Commercial National Bank Building in the Loop.  Get the full story »

Allstate buys former HSBC headquarters

Daily Herald | Allstate has bought the former headquarters of HSBC Corp. in Prospect Heights.  The insurance company said it would demolish the two buildings there immediately and hold the land for future development.

General Growth reportedly courting Vornado exec

Bankrupt mall owner General Growth Properties Inc. is in talks to hire Vornado Realty Trust executive Sandeep Mathrani as its next chief executive, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Get the full story »

McPier sells first $1.12B in bonds

The agency that runs McCormick Place got long-awaited financial relief Wednesday with the sale of $1.12 billion in bonds to restructure old expansion debt and finance an addition to the convention center hotel.

The bond deal, which represents the second step toward a state-mandated revamp of the convention center, also will restore depleted reserves and provide a short-term operating subsidy. Get the full story »

Another setback for Chicago Spire

From Crain’s Chicago Business | The Chicago Spire was dealt another setback Wednesday when a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit by developer Garrett Kelleher seeking to avoid repayment of two loans.

$600M Trump Tower construction loan extended

Donald Trump and his lenders have inked a new loan agreement that resolves long-standing litigation related to the development of his Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.

Trump and his lenders, led by Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas and Fortress Credit Corp., last week agreed to extend the term on an approximate $600 million construction loan for five years. So, all litigation between the parties has been dismissed. Get the full story »

Caterpillar to build plant for mining parts in N.C.

Heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. said Friday it will build a parts plant for large mining machines  in North Carolina, and it expects to employ about 510 full-time and contract workers in five years.

Construction is scheduled to begin in November on the Winston-Salem factory where workers will machine, assemble, test and paint axle assemblies for large mining machines. Production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2012. Get the full story »

Apartment building slated for River North

From Crain’s Chicago Business | AMLI Residential Partners plans to build a 49-story apartment building at Clark and Hubbard Streets in River North. Construction could start next year.

HUD charges Chicago developer over accessibility

A local architect and developer was charged Monday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development with housing discrimination for designing and building a Chicago apartment building that it alleges does not comply with accessibility requirements.

HUD said Hector Castillo and Hector Castillo Architects Inc. violated the federal Fair Housing  Act in the construction of a building at 914 W. Hubbard St. Get the full story »

With Target built, officials laud Wilson Yard project

Mayor Richard Daley speaks during the grand opening of the Wilson Yard Target on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (William DeShazer/Chicago Tribune)

By Becky Schlikerman | Mayor Richard Daley and other supporters of a beleaguered Uptown development marked a major milestone today by celebrating the completion of a Target store that anchors the Wilson Yard project.

The new store finalizes a decade-long battle to redevelop the site of a burned-down CTA bus barn. The store will open on Sunday.

“This has been a very long time coming,” Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) said. “There were times it seemed this wasn’t going to happen.” Get the full story »