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PRAIRIE GROVE, IL-Westminster Swanson Land Partners has landed a $55.6-million loan from New York-based Marathon Asset Management to begin work on a 1,376-unit residential development in this suburb between Crystal Lake and McHenry. The 1,077-acre project includes at least 300,000 sf of retail space on 100 acres along Route 31, which eventually will be widened to four lanes.

Starbucks, Crate & Barrel and Jamba Juice have been mentioned by Westminster Swanson Land Partners as potential retail tenants in talks with village officials. The Lake Forest-based developer recently acquired the land, located east of Route 31 between Ames and Gracy roads, from Terra Cotta Realty Co.

Village officials approved plans in September to build the 1,346 homes in 15 “neighborhoods,” including a 350-unit age-restricted community and 350 townhouses. Meanwhile, the elementary school district is seeking permission from voters later this month to borrow $18 million to build a school.

The loan allows the developer to make improvements to the land in order to sell parcels to residential and commercial developers within a year, according to the lender. “Westminster Swanson identified a unique opportunity and used their in-house expertise to work with the local town officials to obtain the necessary entitlements for the property prior to closing the loan,” says Mike Amoia, a director of Marathon’s structured finance group.

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