The Chicago Spire is well on its out of bankruptcy, but construction of the supertall 2,000 foot project still remains uncertain. Yesterday afternoon, Spire developer Garrett Kelleher faced his financial demons and has agreed to essentially relinquish control over the 150 story project to new partner and investor Atlas Apartment Holdings. Whether or not construction of the Santiago Calatrava-designed Spire will actually happen entirely depends on if the new Spire team can pay $109 million to its previous debtor, Related Midwest, by October 31. The site at 400 North Lake Shore Drive has remained untouched since 2008, and until all debts are paid, the Spire will likely remain a 100 foot hole in the ground.
After court proceedings yesterday, new Spire partner Atlas Apartment Holdings has reaffirmed that the plan is to continue building the Spire that we are all familiar with, a sweeping 2,000 foot spiral that would become home to nearly 1,200 condo units. And what about Kelleher? Is his continued inclusion in the project merely symbolic? The Trib reports that Atlas still considers Kelleher the developer of the Spire, and that for the Northbrook based apartment development company, the whole point of getting involved was to see that the Spire was built, not to assume total control or change the architectural plans. However, the story could certainly change on March 25 when all parties head back to court for the next round of proceedings. If Melville were alive today to write a novel about Chicago architecture instead of the sea, it's safe to say that the Chicago Spire would be the elusive great white whale and developer Garrett Kelleher would be the ambitious, yet slightly deranged captain hellbent on capturing it. And we all know how that story ended.
· Spire developer resolves debts, looks to start again [Tribune]
· Chicago's Ambitious Supertall Spire May Actually Rise After All [Curbed Chicago]
· Previous Chicago Spire coverage [Curbed Chicago]