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$2.5B Midway Airport deal collapses

April 21, 2009 at 4:30 PM

CHICAGO, April 21 (UPI) -- Chicago officials said a $2.5 billion deal to lease Midway Airport had collapsed due to the private company's failure to secure financing.

Gene Saffold, Mayor Richard Daley's chief financial officer said the global economic downturn had squashed the deal, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Chicago will keep $126 million in earnest money on the 99-year lease agreement and try to find a new tenant when the economic picture improves, the newspaper said.

City Council members approved the agreement with a 49-0 vote last year. But, "the company cannot secure the financing needed," Saffold said.

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