The troubled economy has claimed another victim as Kimball Hill Homes, the Rolling Hills, Ill.-based developer, announced that it was shutting its doors Dec. 3, 2008.

Kimball Hill had operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since April 2008 and was on the verge of selling the business to an investor until negotiations broke down at the end of November. So, the company decided to liquidate its assets rather than try to reorganize under Chapter 11.

Kimball Hill, a prominent player in the Chicago area, was intimately involved in the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation, which sought to redevelop former public housing sites as mixed-income for-sale and rental neighborhoods.

The company’s subsidiary, Kimball Hill Urban Centers, was one of the major partners developing Parkside of Old Town, a redevelopment of the notorious Cabrini-Green projects into a mixed-income neighborhood. Parkside, a 391-unit development, has 72 public housing units, 14 affordable for-sale units, and the balance market-rate for-sale units.

The company was also a major player in Park Boulevard, an ambitious 39-building, 311-unit community built where the bleak high-rises of Stateway Gardens once stood. Park Boulevard’s other partners—Mesa Development Group, Davis Development Group, and Walsh Construction—were planning to buy out Kimball Hill’s interest in the venture in the fall.

The 39-year-old business had 1,100 employees nationwide a year ago, but by December that figure was down to around 400. The company said it had enough cash to complete the nearly 450 homes already under construction.