Freed took a bath on this specific project on components they thought would bring return that were never built; the misguided two huge condo towers, a Hotel and expanded mall retail space. Several million in architectural, marketing, consulting time went into those with no payoff and so their pro forma was definitely thrown off.
Meanwhile, the mall has developed nicely, good restaurant options, Sundance is a huge plus (we should do a first run cineplex downtown!) in generating foot traffic, Sentry and many other excellent options...its been a huge draw for the area...the most successful and stable housing stock to sell in the area, even in this depressed market. Target was a good adjustment to the plan and while there's demand for the new apartment housing at the corner...go to Milwaukee's North Avenue Whole foods...would have been nice to have similar, although Sentry's stepped up their game nicely, as has the coop, trader joes etc...
The Hilldale default is more an example of Freed's financial issues as an overall company....over extended....big time..in Chicago. They bought the Carson Pirie Scott Building in the loop then got rid of their huge retail tenant..right at the wrong time to try and refill it....they made mistaken assumptions on Hilldale, and on several other projects. It all adds up. I'm amazed they didn't sell Hilldale to a REIT....maybe they want some tax write off?
Meanwhile, the project is great for the area...and I could easily see a Hotel addition working soon at the site to help the numbers.