Right on the heels of a spurious ruling that our coveted Willis Tower is nolonger the tallest building in North America, there’s news that the ill-fated Chicago Spire may be triumphantly rising like a phoenix from a circular, flooded, hole on the banks of Lake Michigan.
For those who don’t remember, back in the Summer of 2005, a developer presented a plan for a 115-story hotel/condominium along Lake Shore Dr. originally called The Fordham Spire. The plan was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission, Zoning Committee, mayor, and city council. Unfortunately, the initial developer failed to acquire sufficient financing for the project which led to Irishman, Garrett Kelleher, taking over as developer, changing the plan to be only condominiums and renaming the project The Chicago Spire. The new design plans were again approved by the same people, and construction commenced. A hole was dug for the foundation, but shortly thereafter, the American recession reared its ugly head, financing fell through and the project coasted to a stop. Banks foreclosed on the real estate and the whole project has basically been in litigation purgatory every since.
However, it now seems that Garrett Kelleher is in talks with deep-pocket investors and is confident that he can restart the project. His lawyer had this to say:
Garrett Kelleher is very committed to the Chicago Spire. We’re coming out of the perfect storm, and Garrett thinks this is the perfect product.
So lookout, New York.