Architects sue developer of failed Superior Street tower over unpaid plans
Loop North News

(Above left) Rendering by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP of The Carillon, which would have replaced George A. Tripp House (above right) at 42 East Superior Street, along with 44 and 46 East Superior Street.

28-Mar-20 – Chicago-based Skidmore Owings & Merrill says a New York developer has not paid for the architectural plans for a 60-story tower at Superior Street & Wabash Avenue that was not built.

The architecture firm is suing Symmetry Property Development for $275,164.

The Carillon faced community opposition and was not supported by 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly. It would have replaced three 19th century rowhouses on Superior Street that will be protected in a proposed landmark district if the district is approved by the Chicago City Council.

The lawsuit, filed in Circuit Court on January 14, is not the extent of Symmetry’s legal troubles. An attorney representing a group of Chinese investors filed a lawsuit against the company last year for federal securities fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. According to documents filed in the federal lawsuit, approximately $44 million provided by the Chinese investors has not been returned.

The investors were participating in the controversial EB-5 Visa program that provides foreign investors a fast-track to permanent residency in the United States if they invest significant funds into a U.S.-based economic project.

Jeffrey Laytin

Symmetry’s director, Jeffery Laytin (left), has not responded to telephone calls and emails seeking comment. While Symmetry has told its investors it is a “global development firm specializing in creating superior lifestyle communities” in China, Hawaii, and Chicago, there is little evidence to support that claim. The company has a website that appears basic and merely a placeholder. It has a telephone number but there is no way to leave a message.

If approved by the Chicago City Council, the Near North Side Multiple Property Landmark District would include 15 buildings constructed between 1871 and 1923. It would cover an area in River North and Streeterville bounded by Chicago Avenue, Fairbanks Court, Grand Avenue, and LaSalle Drive.

 Previous story: Landmarks Commission votes to support creation of Near North Side Landmark District

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