A prominent mixed-use property on Madison has gone into foreclosure, according to court records, and the Michigan bank looking to recover its money contends the building owner has paid less than half of what was borrowed in 2006.
In building a series of residential condos on top of street-level commercial space at 7320-22 Madison, owner Robert Marani took out a construction loan for $2.55 million, according to the complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court. After twice bumping the loan’s maturity date the lender, Fifth Third Bank, has claimed Marani still owes more than $1.39 million.
The complaint was filed March 31 and Marani has not yet filed a response. In a brief phone interview Marani declined to comment on the case, but indicated that he’s working to resolve the matter.
“There’s a lot of other resolutions and solutions being implemented,” Marani said.
The loan was approved in July 2006, according to court records, and initially was to come due in October 2007. However, that date was pushed back twice, ultimately landing in July 2008.
The property sits on one of Forest Park’s most visible corners and is home to several businesses. A bead shop and pet boarding facility both front onto Madison, and a restaurant owned by Marani, La Bella Bistecca, is accessed via Circle Avenue.
Marani converted 18 upstairs apartments into nine residential condos, according to plans approved by the village in 2006.
An unrelated court filing suggests the project hit several snags, however. In August, seven tenants in the building filed suit against Marani claiming he failed to deliver what he promised. Expensive finishes such as granite countertops, oak flooring and top-of-the-line appliances had not been installed, according to the suit, or were damaged. Several condo owners complained of leaky roofs and extensive water damage in their units.
The suit, also filed in Cook County Circuit Court, makes reference to repeated attempts by the municipality to ensure construction at the site was being done properly. Several plaintiffs also alleged they funded improvements to the building, but were never repaid.