By Micah Maidenberg
April 7, 2010

Three banks have filed foreclosure suits against Krzysztof Karbowski’s East Garfield Park and South Loop properties.

The legal actions are part of a string of foreclosures banks have brought against Karbowski, a developer mostly active in Wicker Park and Bucktown, and companies he operates. Karbowski did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Since late January, Parkway Bank and Trust has filed four separate foreclosure suits against Karbowski’s Time Properties, Inc., seeking more than $588,868 in all.

The suits say he borrowed against units in 2438 W. Madison; 2442 W. Madison; 2444 W. Madison; and 2446 W. Madison. The buildings mix street-level retail and upper-floor residential.

Parkway made loans on the units throughout 2007, with the last one going out in October of that year. The bank did not return a call.

On Feb. 11, Amcore Bank filed suit against Karbowski, alleging he owes them more than $3.1 million stemming out of an August 2007 loan he took out on the property at 1323 S. Michigan, in the South Loop. That loan came due February 2009.

An Amcore spokesperson declined to comment. The building at 1323 S. Michigan is vacant.

Leaders Bank, meanwhile, is seeking more than $219,506 from Karbowski, a March 23 foreclosure suit against the developer and Madison Developers, Inc. says.

The suit says Karbowski borrowed against a parcel of land at 2557 W. Warren. A spokesperson at that institution did not return a call.

Karbowski is also facing a $4.5 million foreclosure suit on the Northwest Tower building, the tallest structure in Bucktown, located at 1600 N. Milwaukee, according to news accounts.

Karbowski is saddled with other Wicker Park and Bucktown foreclosures actions as well, including an $11.2 million suit Midwest Bank and Trust filed against him and his development at 1500-08 and 1520 N. Damen on March 3.

And Parkway Bank and Trust says in a Jan. 12 foreclosure suit that Karbowski owes more than $2.2 million for a loan he took out against his property located at 1000 N. Milwaukee.

Leaders Bank brought a $5.3 million foreclosure suit against Karbowski and his Wicker Park Properties, Inc., for properties he owns at 2147 and 2151 W. Evergreen, meanwhile.

Geoff Smith, a vice president at the Woodstock Institute, a housing and lending policy group based in Chicago, said there wasn’t much systemic data about developer foreclosures. But that doesn’t mean they don’t raise concerns.

“In general, my sense is that they can have a lot of the same impact that a foreclosure on single-family home or a small, multi-family building can have on a neighborhood,” he said. “They may cause blight if they are not secured and maintained.”

Taking the biggest hit in a developer foreclosure, he said, is the developer him or herself and the lending institution.

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