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July 23, 2020

The Clock Is Ticking On The Census, And Chicago Has A Lot To Lose

[Webinar] What Factors Are Contributing To The Labor Shortages In Chicago? Find Out At Unions & Skilled Labor: What Can Be Done About Labor Shortages & Rising Construction Costs July 30

Census takers will soon hit the streets across Chicago, going from door to door, trying to get an accurate count of the city’s population. The count will impact more than how many congressional representatives the city sends to Washington. Census data informs many commercial real estate decisions, like where to locate stores or new multifamily developments, and tells the federal government where to spend money on critical infrastructure or grant housing tax credits.

After losing population for several decades, especially in neighborhoods home to low- to moderate-income Black people, Chicago already faced the threat of demographic decline, even as the downtown saw spectacular growth. But this year it also faces the threat of a census undercount that could further starve the city of needed resources, real estate experts say. 

The Clock Is Ticking On The Census, And Chicago Has A Lot To Lose

The Latinx community is most in danger of not being counted.“They are really scared about filling out anything federal,” 22nd Ward Alderman Michael Rodriguez said.His district covers a stretch of Chicago's Southwest Side, including Little Village, a mostly Latinx neighborhood. Out of its estimated 14,273 households, more…

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Real Estate Mogul Shvo Sued Over Planned Transamerica Buy And 333 South Wabash Acquisition

The planned $700M buy up of San Francisco's iconic Transamerica Pyramid has once again hit some turbulence, after a businessman sued SHVO head Michael Shvo and related investors for allegedly muscling him out of the deal, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

Real Estate Mogul Shvo Sued Over Planned Transamerica Buy And 333 South Wabash Acquisition

The lawsuit, filed by Serdar Bilgili, the chairman of Istanbul-based BLG Capital, also alleges SHVO cut Bilgili out of its January acquisition of Chicago's 333 South Wabash Ave.From the SFBT:Shvo, who heads luxury real estate development company SHVO, acted in “bad faith” and “usurped business opportunities” belonging to an agreed-upon partnership in respect to the…

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'It's Like A Bloodletting': Co-Tenancy Clauses, Bankruptcy Protections Hastening Mall Extinction

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, malls continue to face existential threats, including whether rent collection is even possible in the near future.

Experts cite prolonged bankruptcy protections and co-tenancy issues as additional factors that will likely hasten the already accelerated demise of hundreds of malls. 

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Productivity Is Suffering As Construction Sites Implement Strict Social Distancing Protocols

Dozens of construction workers lined up, ready to start work at 20 Bruckner Blvd. at 7 a.m. Monday. The line snaked out the door as each waited 6 feet apart to get their temperature checked and logged by the site’s COVID assessment coordinator, Charles Griffin, in a process that takes about an hour, he said.

Past the temperature station, the construction site is operating, but it is not back to business as usual.

Coronavirus safety guideline posters are pinned to the walls, and hand-washing stations are spread throughout. In pre-pandemic times, workers would work closely together. Monday, all were careful to remain 6 feet from one another, with the exception of two masked plumbers installing a pipe that required closer contact. After finishing their work, the two promptly moved away from each other. 

“It’s zero tolerance when it comes to safety,” said Alex Elkin, the CEO of Eastbound Construction, the project’s manager. “There is nothing more important than it, and every minute spent and every dollar spent on safety is there to mitigate risk of something happening later on, and it is worth it.”

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'An Entire Industry Is Being Wiped Out': Failed Lease Negotiations Forcing D.C. Restaurants To Close

 

Iconic Capitol Hill restaurant Tortilla Coast is hanging on by a thread.

The popular happy hour spot for congressional staffers, where Paul Ryan famously waited tables before ascending to speaker of the House, has not paid its rent since March and discussions with its landlord have ceased, owner Geoff Tracy tells Bisnow.

The restaurant wasn't bringing in enough sales to pay rent and asked for a decrease in its monthly bill. The landlord offered a deal that Tracy viewed as unreasonable.

Frustrated with the failed negotiations, Tracy announced July 10 he planned to close the restaurant by the end of this month. The news led Tortilla Coast's regulars to flock to the 32-year-old Capitol Hill restaurant, and Tracy said Tuesday the increased sales would allow him to keep it open through August. But he is still not paying rent, he told Bisnow, and the restaurant's future beyond the summer is uncertain. 

"We're in a damaged aircraft and it's approaching the ground, but there's still a chance," Tracy said. "We're looking for a margarita miracle."

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