The Chicago Spire: Back on Track?

Stalled since 2007, the Santiago Calatrva designed Chicago Spire might finally rise 2000 ft out of the ground to take the title of tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the U.S. The Spire entered receivership in 2010 and in 2013 a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge ruled that Shelbourne North Water Street LP has until March 2014 to put together a reorganization plan. In a potentially positive development, the purchaser of the project’s delinquent debt, RMW Acquisition Co. LLC (Related Midwest), has agreed to provide Shelbourne $1 million in bankruptcy financing. If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approves Shelbourne’s March proposal, construction of the tower could resume immediately.

Santiago Calatrava and the Chicago Spire

Although the Chicago Spire’s foundation work is complete, completing the Chicago Spire may cost in excess of $1 billion. That number previously meant that the 1,193 units in the tower would have to sell for at least $2,000 a square foot to be profitable. However, now that Related is involved in the project an apartment element could be implemented into the design. Texas-based Atlas Apartment Holdings LLC has also expressed interest in providing financing for an apartment element of the project. As of June 2008, Shelbourne had contracts for more than 350 of the 1,193 units, including a $40 million contract for the building’s penthouse with billionaire Beanie Babies founder, Ty Warner.

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