There's no doubt that from the very beginning, the Chicago Spire was an ambitious project. And despite all of the setbacks and its stalling out in 2008, a new partnership announced earlier this year gave the project a much needed shot in the arm and for a little while it seemed like it was going to be the supertall tower that could and would eventually make it off the ground. The Spire project consumed developer Garrett Kelleher for years, and all that he has to show for it is a gigantic hole in the ground - a hole that now belongs to developer Related Midwest after the Spire developers were unable to make a $22 million payment by last Friday's deadline. Despite the polarizing effect the tower's design had on Chicagoans, many can agree that adding another architecturally significant tower to the city would be great for not only our egos, but also for our city's reputation and architectural legacy. At this time, it is still uncertain what Related may have planned for the site, but according to a statement from the developer, it sounds like Related knows that there will be a lot of voices calling for a tall, architecturally significant tower to fill in the hole in the ground that was dug out years ago for Santiago Calatrava's spiraling supertall.
In a written statement, Related Midwest's President Curt Bailey has indicate that:
We are pleased to have resolution on 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, the site of the former Chicago Spire project. We recognize the importance of this site to the City of Chicago and look forward to creating an architecturally significant and thoughtful development befitting this premier location. We are proud to have a long track-record of developing landmark buildings with world-class architects like 840 N. Lake Shore Drive, 500 N. Lake Shore Drive, Park Tower, 340 on the Park and most recently, 111 W. Wacker Drive. We look forward to continuing that legacy on this marquee site. Related is no stranger to scooping up stalled out developments. Its recently completed OneEleven apartment tower was at one time on track to becoming a Shangri-La Hotel and luxury condo tower, until the credit collapse pulled the rug out from under the city's real estate market. There's no doubt that Related can get things done - but the question everyone is going to have is what will ultimately replace the Spire. What we do know is that the Spire is now deader than a doornail, and the 2,000 foot tall Calatrava design will actually never be anything more than just renderings.
·The Saga of the Chicago Spire Quickly Approaching Its End [Curbed Chicago]
·What's Next for Santiago Calatrava's Troubled Chicago Spire? [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Chicago Spire coverage [Curbed Chicago]