Silver Lining to Economic Cloud

Looks like we dodged the bullet on this for now:

Mayor Daley's $2.5 billion plan to privatize Midway Airport has run into turbulence -- and it just might be grounded entirely -- because of the nation's credit crunch and Wall Street slide, City Hall sources said Monday.

An April 6 closing date that would have made Midway the "first privatization of a major American airport" has been cancelled -- and it's likely to be put off for six months to give Midway Investment and Development Company LLC an opportunity to salvage the deal by lining up more equity investors or bank financing.

If financing cannot be arranged for the 99-year lease, the Southwest Side airport will remain in the city's hands, 190 Midway employees will continue to draw their paychecks from the city and Chicago taxpayers will walk away from the deal with the $126 million that MidCo has already paid.

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