Sears Centre Avoids Foreclosure

The governing board in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates approved taking ownership of the financially troubled Sears Centre Dec. 16, as expected, cutting short a potentially lengthy foreclosure process.

The board also formally approved an interim agreement with Global Spectrum to operate the facility as of Jan. 1. Global Spectrum will bring in its own ticket, food service and sales and marketing services.

The building’s owner, MadKatStep Entertainment LLC, is itself owned by developer Ryan Cos. and Sears Holdings. MadKatStep had threatened to walk away if the city did not take over title and find another facility operator.

Foreclosure proceedings could have taken up to a full year, during which the venue would be closed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Hoffman Estates expects to take a loss of $1.1 million at the Sears Center in 2010, based on estimates from Global Spectrum. The village will pay $2.09 million remaining on a loan that MadKatStep took to buy furnishings and fixtures.

The company has reportedly promised to give Hoffman Estates $600,000 of that figure and pay property taxes for all of 2009 and 75 percent of 2010.