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Freeborn Wins Critical Case for High-Profile Development Project

19 May 2009

On May 19, 2009, a 27-page opinion issued by the Circuit Court of Cook County vindicated, in unambiguous terms, Prism Development Company’s rights on almost every count, thereby allowing their development of a 40-story tower at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street, in downtown Chicago. Winning this case was critical to this high-profile development project; and possibly to Prism's survival.

A suit was filed against Prism Development Company more than two years ago by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, an independent government agency that was seeking to block Prism's use of a private alley located between their respective properties. Freeborn & Peters attorneys took over representation of Prism from another law firm approximately one year ago. At that point, with minimal time to prepare, our team successfully won a preliminary injunction prohibiting the District from continuing to block the alley, which had effectively prevented demolition of the then-existing structures. That decision was affirmed by the Illinois Appellate court.

Under a perpetual grant of easement, Prism is entitled to broad rights of vehicular and pedestrian access to and from Erie Street via the private alley, which is the only access to the future parking garage. Without the alley access, the project would not be feasible.

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