New landmark district will save Superior Street row houses from demolition
Loop North News

(Above) George A. Tripp House at 42 East Superior Street, along with 44 and 46 East Superior Street, location of Sunny Side Up and other businesses.

10-Mar-19 – Three 19th century Victorian row houses on East Superior Street, once slated for demolition, may be safe from the wrecking ball by being in a newly-approved landmark district.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks granted a preliminary designation on March 7 for the Near North Side Multiple Property District, a collection of 15 historic buildings, including the row houses, that were built soon after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

“They are the best surviving small-scale residential buildings in the area, both in terms of historical integrity and architectural styles,” said 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, who worked to save the buildings. “Together, these buildings tell the story of this portion of the Near North Side when it was a residential neighborhood of mansions, more modest homes, and small flats.”

A 90-day demolition delay would have expired on March 9.

Rand McNally & Co.

(Above) A view of the Near North Side as it appeared in Rand McNally’s 1893 Bird’s-Eye Views and Guide to Chicago. Superior Street, including 42 East Superior Street, is visible at upper right. Ohio Street is at lower left and State Street is at upper left. (Click on image to view larger version.)

$50 million of Chinese investors’ money allegedly missing

Though Reilly rejected plans for a 42-story mixed-use structure on the site, New York-based Symmetry Development still filed for a permit in 2018 to demolish the Superior Street row houses. The three directors of Symmetry – Jason Ding, Jeffrey Laytin, and Bradley Reifler – are now being sued in federal court by 90 Chinese-based investors who each put a minimum of $550,000 into the project.

The project was rejected in 2017 but an attorney for the investors says the money was never returned. Doug Litowitz says he believes the money is not being returned by Symmetry because it has already been spent.

Doug Litowitz

“Symmetry Development has spent all $49.5 million of the Chinese investors’ money and they claim that the project is alive, submitted to the city, and they are working to satisfy the alderman,” said Litowitz (left). “All of that is lies.”

Litowitz has filed a motion in United States District Court to compel Symmetry to disclose the location of the $49.5 million. He is also asking a federal judge to freeze the developer’s assets.

The Chinese had invested their money in the project in order to secure American visas through a federal program known as the EB-5 visa immigrant investor program.

Other properties in the landmark district include...

• 642 North Dearborn Street
• 17 East Erie Street
• 14 West Erie Street
• 110 West Grand Avenue
• 1 East Huron Street
• 671 North State Street
• 9 East Huron Street
• 10 East Huron Street
• 16 West Ontario Street
• 18 West Ontario Street
• 212 East Ontario Street
• 222 East Ontario Street
• 716 North Rush Street

By Peter von Buol | Loop North News | peterbuol@aol.com

Published 10-Mar-19 5:55 AM

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