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Thread: New Calatrava-designed Tower in Chicago to surpass Sears Tower

  1. #706

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadly View Post
    Still, they spent a whole bunch of money on prepping the site, and building the foundation, yet they had no idea where the money to complete the thing was coming from. They didn't have their ducks in a row so to speak. I don't know what the circumstances for this site, as far as what it was used for before this, but now it's used for nothing. If there was a functional structure there before hand, it's loss is evident. That attitude, "Don't worry about the money, it will be there, there's always another loan on the horizon" is the cause of our current financial situation.

    All this other stuff about sub-prime mortgages, etc. are merely accomplices.

    It's the economic culture, stupid.
    Sure they knew where the money was going to be coming from, THE BANKS. But you remember that crisis when the shit hit the fan and the banks stopped lending?

    The site had been a weed infested lot for years. Cirque du Soleil performed/practiced on the site about a decade ago.

    There was a factory on the site 60 years ago.

  2. #707

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    Are you saying their loans were all approved and signed for? Did they have the money in the bank? All the t's crossed and i's dotted?

  3. #708

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadly View Post
    Are you saying their loans were all approved and signed for? Did they have the money in the bank? All the t's crossed and i's dotted?
    I don't think I ever said that...

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,7040270.story

    AFL-CIO could help fund Spire construction

    By Mary Ellen Podmolik | Tribune staff reporter 5:29 PM CDT, March 23, 2009 A deep-pocketed AFL-CIO pension fund is meeting with Chicago Spire developer Shelbourne Development Group Tuesday in Chicago to advance discussions that could have the pension fund help pay for construction of the stalled skyscraper.

    Discussions between the AFL-CIO Investment Trusts and Irish developer Garrett Kelleher began in January but the talks are in the "embryonic stage," said Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building Trades Council, which represents 24 trades locally.

    "The main thing is jobs," Villanova said. " We can use our own funds to benefit members. The Spire is going to be five years of construction, which is just phenomenal for us. It's thousands of jobs."

    An investment by the pension fund would make the project a 100 percent union job. "Obviously, the idea of pulling the unions together and making this a 'Made in America' project is very positive," said Spire spokesman Kim Metcalfe, who confirmed discussions with the union.

    "We're exploring all of the financial options with the economy as challenging as it is, but clearly this is long-term," Metcalfe said. "We're working toward the success of the building. We continue to actively market the building. Clearly, the construction of the building is on pause but nothing else about the building has stopped."

    The Spire remains a 76-feet deep by 110-feet wide hole in the ground at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, a worldwide symbol of the recession and shut-down credit markets. It has had numerous mechanics liens filed against it as consultants and contractors involved in the initial work sought payment for their services. Architect Santiago Calatrava, who designed the twisting building, filed liens against the project in October for more than $11 million.

    The union has three investment trusts, including the Building Investment Trust, a pooled real estate fund with more than $2.5 billion in assets as of Dec. 31. It was created in 1988 to provide competitive risk-adjusted returns for its participants as well as a way to create jobs at commercial real estate projects for its members.

    The Chicago market has proved to be the biggest beneficiary of the fund, with more than $1 billion invested in local projects, including senior and affordable housing and Trump International Hotel & Tower, Villanova said.

    The trust, Villanova added, also is interested in investing in the construction of an Olympic Village, should Chicago win the 2016 games.

    mepodmolik@tribune.com

  4. #709

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    Ive said it before but getting the Olympics is the only way this project will happen.

  5. #710

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alonzo-ny View Post
    Ive said it before but getting the Olympics is the only way this project will happen.
    Well, the IOC will be in town next week, April 2-8 and of course the decision will be announced October 2 of this year.

  6. #711

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    I think Chicago is in with a good chance, I hope you guys win. In a slightly related gripe Im very displeased by the USA's bid for the world cup in 2014? 2018? Cheeky considering you had it only 4 world cups ago.

  7. #712

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    And they'll get the World Cup, considering everyone seems to think that Americans do actually like the sport. Keep banging your head against that wall guys.

  8. #713

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    I think its kind of disgusting actually. The USA does not need any of the benefits of what a World Cup could bring to a under developed country, and the US just had the World Cup, let someone else have it.

  9. #714

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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,1953419.story

    Spire developer Garrett Kelleher to meet with leaders of AFL-CIO pension investment trusts
    Talks to center on retiring Shelbourne Development's loan with Anglo Irish Bank, pay off liens, restart work




    Chicago Spire developer Garrett Kelleher is scheduled to meet Monday with leaders of AFL-CIO pension investment trusts in what is being characterized as "advanced" talks regarding the planned skyscraper's funding.

    Under discussion is a potential $170 million land loan that would retire Shelbourne Development Group Inc.'s loan from Anglo Irish Bank, pay off liens and restart work on a project dormant for more than a year.

    An agreement is uncertain, but a successful outcome would help solidify Kelleher's negotiating stance as the executive chairman of Shelbourne seeks construction funding for the twisting, 2,000-foot-high tower that would dominate Chicago's skyline.

    In March, the investment trusts and Shelbourne began to discuss the idea of tapping the funds to get the Spire off the ground. Those talks had cooled by summer, as the investment trusts signaled interest in helping foot the bill for an Olympic Village in Chicago.

    The Spire "was in the No. 2 slot," prior to Chicago losing out on its bid to host the 2016 Olympics, said Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, which represents 24 affiliated trades. "When I was sitting in Copenhagen and things went south, this moved to the No. 1 slot. We're way past the look-see stage. We're in the commitment stage now.

    "They want us at the table. They don't have a lot of people at the table that can throw in the money that we can throw in."

    A spokeswoman for Shelbourne confirmed Monday's meeting.

    "This is a huge stride in moving the broader picture forward," she said. "(It's) a negotiating chip for a much larger conversation."

    It also would generate positive publicity for Shelbourne and the Spire, which made headlines internationally when Bank of America Corp. filed suit in August against Shelbourne and Kelleher, accusing the developer of defaulting on a loan and saying it was due $4.9 million. Shelbourne since has countersued the lender.

    The deal now being studied would make the investment trusts the first-mortgage holder on the property, meaning that if the project fizzled, they would have the right to take possession of the land at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, giving them control of a prime piece of real estate along Lake Michigan.

    In addition to paying off the loan with the now-nationalized Anglo Irish Bank, estimated at $64 million, the funds would be used to satisfy liens totaling almost $19.6 million from firms that have worked on the project, including Spire architect Santiago Calatrava, who said he is owed $11.3 million. Remaining funds would be used for such infrastructure improvements as bringing water and electricity to the site.

    An AFL-CIO investment would require Shelbourne to make the project a 100 percent union job, creating an estimated 7.5 million man hours of work for local unions, some of which are dealing with 30 percent unemployment among their members, Villanova said.

    Kelleher and Spire representatives have been making the rounds of local union halls in the past few weeks, trying to generate interest from the locals' pension funds as well, according to a source close to the discussions.

    An announcement of a significant financial commitment is expected soon.

    Kelleher has never specified the total cost of the Spire, but it is estimated to be less than $2 billion.

    The AFL-CIO has three investment trusts, and it is uncertain which might invest in the Spire. One of the entities, the Building Investment Trust, a pooled real estate fund, counts among its local projects The Tides and The Shoreham, residential complexes at Lakeshore East in Chicago.

  10. #715

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    I'll eat my hat if this gets built.

    Disclaimer: I don't actually own a hat so the aforementioned hat will be metaphorical.

  11. #716

  12. #717

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    Tasty

  13. #718

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    Push to Finish Tallest Tower

    Seeking Jobs, Chicago Workers May Lend $170 Million to Restart 150-Story Building


    By JOE BARRETT

    CHICAGO -- The stalled construction of North America's tallest building, a 150-story luxury residential tower planned for downtown, may get a boost from unionized construction workers desperate for jobs.

    Construction workers in Chicago are trying to put together their own stimulus package by helping to refinance and restart work on the Chicago Spire. The twisting, 2,000-foot, Calatrava-designed residential tower would be the tallest building in North America. WSJ's Joe Barrett joins the News Hub to preview his piece.

    Any effort to save the Chicago Spire faces major hurdles, especially coming after a real-estate glut that flooded Chicago with new condos. Plans call for the 2,000-foot-high Spire to have nearly 1,200 units -- more than are expected to be completed for the entire downtown area in 2010. Prices start at $750,000, with the bulk of the condos costing $2 million to $15 million.

    Workers broke ground with great fanfare in 2007, but the project stalled last year amid the financial crisis when funding dried up. That left many doubtful that the Santiago Calatrava-designed tower would ever emerge from the circular foundation that sits about a block from Lake Michigan.

    Now a group of union pension funds is conducting due diligence on a plan to lend $170 million to Irish developer Shelbourne Development Group, said Tom
    Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 24 unions with some 100,000 members.

    View Full Image

    Associated Press

    Mr. Villanova said the individual pension-fund directors, along with an AFL-CIO pension fund and a union life-insurance fund, are working on a loan package secured by the development site that could be announced in coming days.

    Unions have been active investors in the Chicago construction market for years, with one AFL-CIO fund investing about $1 billion in the area. However, the Spire comes at a particularly risky time and on a scale all its own.

    "It's about jobs for my members," Mr. Villanova said, adding that the project could mean 7.5 million man-hours of work over the next four to five years -- equivalent to roughly 900 full-time jobs for the hard-hit unions, some of which face unemployment as high as 30%.

    Getting the financing to complete the project could be tough, given the years-long inventory of unsold residential properties in some parts of the market here.
    Chicago home prices fell 10.6% in the third quarter from a year earlier. That compares with an 8.9% drop nationally, according to S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.



    Building in the downtown condo market has ground to a virtual halt. "I have not been able to hear about anybody getting a sizable construction loan for any kind of project," said Jim Kinney, vice president of luxury-home sales for Baird & Warner, a Chicago-based real-estate broker. "I think everyone would've loved to see the building go up. In this environment, I don't think the odds are very strong, personally."

    Kim Metcalfe, spokeswoman for Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Shelbourne, said union financing would allow the developer to pay off its original land loan from Anglo Irish Bank and other creditors, and to resume work in January bringing water and electricity to the site.

    She said the group is confident it can secure financing to complete the building, which she said would cost "significantly" less than $2 billion. "We are obviously in an extremely good position with more than 30% of the units sold and $194 million of [Mr. Kelleher's] personal money in the building," she said.

    Shelbourne launched a sales push for the Spire in September 2007, when the high-end market was still doing well. Sales were brisk in the first four months, with a mix of U.S. and international buyers, Ms. Metcalfe said.

    The showstopper was a two-floor penthouse of more than 10,000 square feet, with 360-degree views and an asking price of $40 million. It was snapped up by reclusive Beanie Baby magnate Ty Warner, she said.

    After the project ground to a halt, Anglo Irish Bank, the original lender, nearly collapsed and was nationalized. Mr. Calatrava, the Spanish architect, said he was owed $11 million in fees. Bank of America Corp., one of the creditors, filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking $4.9 million, and Shelbourne countersued. The suits are pending.

    The Spire got an unlikely break in early October with the demise of Chicago's hopes to host the 2016 Olympics. Mr. Villanova, who was on Chicago's Olympic bid committee, said the unions had committed to help fund the Olympic Village to house athletes. "When that went south on us, we started focusing on the Spire project," he said.

    After cranking out an average of 4,500 new condo units a year downtown for the past four years, Chicago developers expect to complete 900 units next year and fewer than 100 in 2012, said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago appraisal and consulting firm. "We don't see cranes in the sky anymore," Ms. Lisser said, which could mean the Spire would arrive in a much-changed market in four or five years.

    Write to
    Joe Barrett at joseph.barrett@wsj.com

  14. #719

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    Quote Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,1953419.story

    Spire developer Garrett Kelleher to meet with leaders of AFL-CIO pension investment trusts
    Talks to center on retiring Shelbourne Development's loan with Anglo Irish Bank, pay off liens, restart work




    Chicago Spire developer Garrett Kelleher is scheduled to meet Monday with leaders of AFL-CIO pension investment trusts in what is being characterized as "advanced" talks regarding the planned skyscraper's funding.

    Under discussion is a potential $170 million land loan that would retire Shelbourne Development Group Inc.'s loan from Anglo Irish Bank, pay off liens and restart work on a project dormant for more than a year.

    An agreement is uncertain, but a successful outcome would help solidify Kelleher's negotiating stance as the executive chairman of Shelbourne seeks construction funding for the twisting, 2,000-foot-high tower that would dominate Chicago's skyline.

    In March, the investment trusts and Shelbourne began to discuss the idea of tapping the funds to get the Spire off the ground. Those talks had cooled by summer, as the investment trusts signaled interest in helping foot the bill for an Olympic Village in Chicago.

    The Spire "was in the No. 2 slot," prior to Chicago losing out on its bid to host the 2016 Olympics, said Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, which represents 24 affiliated trades. "When I was sitting in Copenhagen and things went south, this moved to the No. 1 slot. We're way past the look-see stage. We're in the commitment stage now.

    "They want us at the table. They don't have a lot of people at the table that can throw in the money that we can throw in."

    A spokeswoman for Shelbourne confirmed Monday's meeting.

    "This is a huge stride in moving the broader picture forward," she said. "It's (Sears) a negotiating chip for a much larger conversation."

    It also would generate positive publicity for Shelbourne and the Spire, which made headlines internationally when Bank of America Corp. filed suit in August against Shelbourne and Kelleher, accusing the developer of defaulting on a loan and saying it was due $4.9 million. Shelbourne since has countersued the lender.

    The deal now being studied would make the investment trusts the first-mortgage holder on the property, meaning that if the project fizzled, they would have the right to take possession of the land at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, giving them control of a prime piece of real estate along Lake Michigan.

    In addition to paying off the loan with the now-nationalized Anglo Irish Bank, estimated at $64 million, the funds would be used to satisfy liens totaling almost $19.6 million from firms that have worked on the project, including Spire architect Santiago Calatrava, who said he is owed $11.3 million. Remaining funds would be used for such infrastructure improvements as bringing water and electricity to the site.

    An AFL-CIO investment would require Shelbourne to make the project a 100 percent union job, creating an estimated 7.5 million man hours of work for local unions, some of which are dealing with 30 percent unemployment among their members, Villanova said.

    Kelleher and Spire representatives have been making the rounds of local union halls in the past few weeks, trying to generate interest from the locals' pension funds as well, according to a source close to the discussions.

    An announcement of a significant financial commitment is expected soon.

    Kelleher has never specified the total cost of the Spire, but it is estimated to be less than $2 billion.

    The AFL-CIO has three investment trusts, and it is uncertain which might invest in the Spire. One of the entities, the Building Investment Trust, a pooled real estate fund, counts among its local projects The Tides and The Shoreham, residential complexes at Lakeshore East in Chicago.
    That will be something great. I am sure it will be one most of the visited building in Chicago.

  15. #720
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    Assuming it would have an observation deck.

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