Filed under: Real Estate Developments
It's looking like Chicago's much anticipated Spire won't be built. The plans for the dramatic Santiago-Calatrava-designed tower had it spiraling up 2,000 feet, making it the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. But now that Anglo Irish Bank Corp. has filed a $77 million foreclosure lawsuit against Irish real estate developer Garrett Kelleher it seems like the Spire will remain unbuilt, a symbol of ambition and aspiration that perhaps never completely lined up with reality. The project has 1,200 condos, around 30 percent of which were reported sold at one point including the penthouse, which was once priced at $40 million and bought by Ty Warner.
Ground was broken on the project in 2007 but construction had stalled out in 2008 when Calatrava filed a lien again Kelleher's Shelbourne Development Group. The lawsuit says that loans made to Kelleher's Shelbourne Development Ltd. matured a year ago and are in default. Anglo Irish Bank Corp. will likely take over the 2.2 acre piece of prime real estate.
The Chicago Tribune had reported last month that Calatrava has been working on an alternate plan, one that would involve two separate buildings and could be built in stages. That project might take advantage of the waterfront location to add a hotel, providing another potential revenue stream for the project. For now, though, a hole remains where a dream once was.