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CHICAGO-The developers backing the residential/retail Grand Plaza project in the River North section of the city have secured a big construction loan from a group of banks led by Bank of America, the development group says. The group refused to divulge the size of the loan or the estimated development cost of Grand Plaza.

Developing the project, which will consist of two residential towers containing 764 rental apartments and 100,000-sf retail space, are Magellan Development Group, Near North Properties, U.S. Equities and The Cataldo/Marovitz Group. Magellan and Near North are currently trying to sheppard the huge $1.5 billion Lakeside East development proposal through the city hall approval process.

The River North area in which the new development will be located is the site of booming development of all kinds. The John Buck Co. is putting the finishing touches on its multi-year, nine-block North Bridge development, while a development group will soon begin work on the $63-million redevelopment of Medinah Temple, which is located just kitty-corner from the Grand Plaza site. Alter Group just completed a 17-story high-tech office tower at Dearborn and Kinzie Streets, which was 93% leased within 30 days of completion.

The land on which Grand Plaza will be built, bordered by State, Dearborn and Ohio Streets along with Grand Avenue, was the last parcel of near-north land owned by the American Medical Association. The Grand Plaza group closed on the purchase of the land just last week. The AMA used to be one of the largest owners of land on the near-north side before the association decided to begin divesting itself of the properties.

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