In 2008 construction stalled on Santiago Calatrava’s Chicago Spire - one of many victims of the financial crisis. What would have been the tallest building in the United States shuddered to a halt as the money dried up and all that remains to this day is a 76ft by 110ft hole in the ground on a prime site in the Windy City.
Renewed hope may be on the horizon however as local reports state that Atlas Apartment Holdings LLC has pledged up to $135m to pay back the creditors of the Chicago Spire, bringing Shelbourne Development Group’s scheme out of bankruptcy. Garrett Kelleher, the Chairman of Shelbourne Development Group who allegedly injected $188m of his own money into the project, seems buoyed by the recent development.
“Given the ongoing recovery in the Chicago property market, the timing is better now than when this project commenced,” he said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “I am delighted to have found a partner who believes in the project as passionately as I do.” The CEO of Atlas, Steven Ivankovich, refers to himself as ‘a Chicago guy’ with a desire ‘to see Chicago regain its architectural crown’.
Despite widespread public support for the scheme when it was revealed in 2005, the financial crisis slowed construction from 2007 onwards until the project went into foreclosure in 2010. An immense scheme at 610m in height, the estimated cost of the tower was $1.5bn and while Atlas Apartment Holdings LLC has agreed $135m to bring the project out of bankruptcy, it is still unclear where the funding will come from to finish the tower.
Originally pitched as a mix of condominiums and hotel units, the finalised design included only residential units with apartments ranging between $700,000 and $40m. Founder of the Beanie Babies brand Ty Warner bought a duplex penthouse in 2008 for $40m.