The fate of a potential tenant for Metropolitan Square in downtown Des Plaines appears to hang in the balance of foreclosure proceedings on the major commercial and residential development, which largely has been vacant since opening in 2006.
The owners of Emerson Ale House in Mount Prospect were in discussions in March to open a second location in the space formerly occupied by Cheeseburger in Paradise, Journal & Topics Newspapers reported.
Nonda Karvelas, co-owner of Emerson’s Ale House, said after reaching a verbal agreement for the location at the beginning of March, a lease never materialized.
“One day we’re sitting at a table shaking hands and a lease is going to get written up, then the next week, nothing; no response,” Karvelas said.
Karvelas said Metropolitan Square has been foreclosed on by a bank. He said he’s waiting to hear back from the bank about whether they will accept the terms.
Karvelas said Emerson’s had been successful since opening in October, and, if he opened a second location, he would change the name and keep the menu and concept the same, which he described as an English pub with a contemporary feel.
“I think our concept works,” Karvelas said. “It’s comfy; it’s cozy.”
He said the Metropolitan Square location would be a good fit for his business because the younger demographic residents in the area was his target market.
“I can’t even tell you how bad we want to open in Des Plaines,” Karvelas said.
World Class Capital Group, based in Austin, TX, is the lender foreclosing on the development’s owner, Schwinge-Metropolitan Square LLC. Nate Paul, president and CEO of World Class Capital, said he could not disclose details.
“The property is in foreclosure proceedings, and we are working toward a solution with the borrower,” Paul said.
Paul was optimistic a resolution would be found soon.
“There’s going to be a solution to this in the next few weeks,” Paul said.
Michael Bartholomew, , said he was aware that the owners of Emerson Ale House had interest in opening up in Metropolitan Square.
“However, they won’t be able to do anything until the ownership is determined in Metropolitan Square,” Bartholomew said. “So once they get through the foreclosure process, I imagine we’ll see movement on that.”
Karvelas said he could not wait indefinitely for the Metropolitan Square location to become available. Des Plaines was one of several possible locations.
“It could take a few weeks; it could take a year,” Karvelas said. “Who knows how long it will take?”
In the meantime, the young pub owner said he answers questions from customers about the proposed Des Plaines location on a daily basis.
“At this point I’m not sure what to tell them,” Karvelas said. “It’s borderline embarrassing.”