A couple of weeks ago, we learned that the Ricketts family was going to be purchasing two rooftop clubs that overlook Wrigley Field.
The owner of those clubs, reported to be George Loukas, owner of the Cubby Bear, will presumably at least make some money from this deal.
That might not be the case for some other rooftop owners, according to this article by Kim Janssen and Becky Schlikerman in the Sun-Times:
Fifth Third Bank, which lent rooftop owners Thomas Gramatis, Max Waisvisz, Daniel Finkel and various holding companies about $18.6 million between 2006 and 2012, says the owners haven’t kept up with mortgage payments and owe in excess of $36 million in principal, interests and other fees, according to the court document. The bank on Friday afternoon filed in federal court for foreclosure of the famous properties at 3617-3619 Sheffield Ave.
The dollar amounts noted above aren't really surprising, given the downturn in the Cubs' fortunes over the last few years. With the team playing poorly, the rooftops, as was the ballpark, were empty for many games and you can easily see how these owners could have wound up in financial trouble, unable to make payments on their multimillion-dollar loans.
I always figured the endgame of the rooftops' dispute with the Cubs would wind up being a sale to the team (or, more likely, the Ricketts family as a separate entity) at pennies on the dollar. From this quote in the article, that appears likely to happen:
Waisvisz said he would consider selling his ownership in the properties. He said, “It was a beautiful thing while it lasted and we hope it continues, but you never know.”
If Waisvisz' name sounds familiar, he's also the owner of Gold Coast Tickets, a ticket brokerage that's also fallen on hard times as Cubs tickets, once thought of as "gold," have seen prices go through the floor. Of course, that might wind up changing as soon as 2015 if the team improves.
You can read the entire foreclosure document from the court at the Sun-Times link, or here.