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Sterling Bay Puts 3 Lincoln Yards-Adjacent Properties Up For Sale

Sterling Bay put three properties near its Lincoln Yards development up for sale, with time ticking away ahead of looming debt maturities and an ongoing struggle to find a financial partner to execute the Chicago-based firm's grand vision.

A rendering of a portion of Lincoln Yards

The developer listed properties at 1907 N. Mendell St., 1901 N. Elston St. and 1500 W. Cortland Ave., all next to the 53-acre site projected to accommodate 14.5M SF of development, Crain's Chicago Business reports

Sterling Bay already sold a nearby industrial property at 1854 N. Besly Court over the summer and has also listed a vacant industrial building at 1860 N. Elston Ave.

But the three sites up for sale now are closer to the Lincoln Yards megadevelopment and face approaching loan deadlines, Crain's reported. The buildings are tied to two Signature Bank loans worth more than $8M and have been the subject of multiple extensions. The latest extension in November set a May 2 deadline.

The attempt to cash out comes as Sterling Bay reckons with numerous roadblocks to kick-starting the $6B Lincoln Yards project along the North Branch of the Chicago River between Lincoln Park and Bucktown.

The developer broke ground on Lincoln Yards in 2021, setting an anticipated completion date in 2031. City roadblocks delayed that timeline by three years, Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor previously told Bloomberg.

More recently, Sterling Bay has had difficulty sourcing capital to get the project moving. In August, the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund turned down a pitch to give Lincoln Yards a $300M shot in the arm, citing a bad fit and an overallocation to real estate in its portfolio.

The rejection came as two of Sterling Bay’s key financial backers for the development, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Lone Star Funds, sought to sell their stakes at significant discounts.

A new potential backer emerged last month when Kayne Anderson Real Estate was reported to be mulling the idea of injecting capital into the dormant project. It isn't clear whether the parties are close to a deal, Crain's reported.