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Old March 26th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #781
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Old March 26th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #782
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Looks like a candle. Not impressed.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:00 AM   #783
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Looks like an alien spaceship to me.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtAkAw View Post
Looks like an alien spaceship to me.
obviously you werent there when they were building the new version of Soldier Field.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #785
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Spire's plans tied to city park

By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah

Tribune staff reporter
Published March 26, 2007


The developer and architect of the Chicago Spire, a twisting skyscraper planned at the mouth of the Chicago River, hope to join a list of developers that have paid for city projects in exchange for more density for their developments.

The Spire's developer is dangling before city officials an offer of substantial funding for the long-delayed DuSable Park. In return, Dublin-based developer Garrett Kelleher hopes to design the lakefront park, which is near the Spire.


But the problem with his proposal is that some members of civic groups already have conceived a detailed plan for the park, and they are not happy with the new renderings.

The park issue could come up Monday at two community meetings to discuss the Spire.

"I see it as a potential opportunity for a project that has been legislated for the last 20 years," Chicago Parks Supt. Tim Mitchell said of the DuSable offer.

Kelleher is the latest developer to come knocking on the city's door hoping to make a highly dense development more appealing by offering to pay for a nearby public project.

Developers of Lakeshore East built a 6-acre park before starting construction on high-rises just south of the river. Trump Tower gave the city $18 million to be used for a nearby park and work along Wabash Avenue and the riverwalk.

Chicago planners say they tell developers up front that they'd like to see some public benefit. In Mayor Richard Daley's Chicago, open-space projects are heavily encouraged.

In the Spire's case, Kelleher is proposing a 2,000-foot tower--the tallest building in the nation--that is expected to house some 1,300 pricey condominiums.

Brent Ryan, urban planning professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the developer is well aware that the Streeterville community is "anti-density and well-organized."

"The developer needs to get a variety of zoning variances so there will be some kind of deal made," Ryan said, referring to the project's density. "[The park proposal] just sweetens the deal."

The Chicago Plan Commission will review the Spire proposal April 19.

Santiago Calatrava's designs call for the park to be divided into two berms, pulled apart to reveal views of Lake Michigan from Water Street. Plazas at the top of the berms would be connected by a pedestrian and bike bridge that would cross the park and then join Calatrava's sail-shaped swing bridge that crosses the river.

The bridge could pose a potential problem because the city Department of Transportation held a lakefront pedestrian bridge competition and selected a winner two years ago for the same location. Brian Steele, spokesman for the department said the city was not obligated to construct the winning design of the bridge.

The DuSable Park design also includes elements from a master plan released in August by the DuSable Park Coalition, which generally opposes the developer's design. The elements include a plaza for Martin Puryear's abstract sculpture of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, a black man of Haitian descent who is considered to be one of the city's founders, as well as an outdoor classroom, wetlands and entrances from the north flank of the riverwalk and Ogden slip.

"There's 70 percent similarity," Mitchell said of the two plans.

But what upsets Friends of the Parks, the main group opposing Kelleher and Calatrava's designs, are calls for a northbound on-ramp to mid-level Lake Shore Drive that will encroach on parkland.

The on-ramp would have motorists driving into bikers and pedestrians strolling along the midlevel of the drive, said Friends of the Parks' president Erma Tranter.

"I believe the reason why they're designing this park is because they need a ramp here," Tranter said. "It's not clear if they need it because of access, but this will be taking away parkland."

For park officials, who have been trying to build DuSable for two decades, the big question is who will pay the $12 million to construct it.

The city has pledged $3 million for DuSable and the Park District has also budgeted $3 million. Friends of the Parks believe additional money can come from state and federal officials. But the Park District is less confident, and the city is concentrating its efforts on finding funds for the possible 2016 Olympic Games.

"I'm not going to pursue with someone who does not have a checkbook at the table as opposed to someone who may be able to get the checkbook," Mitchell said.

The developer has priced its park design at $13.5 million, but has not disclosed whether he's willing to pay for the entire project.

- - -

Public meetings

There will be two meetings on Monday to discuss plans for the Chicago Spire:

- The Grant Park Advisory Council will meet at 12:15 p.m. Monday in the Grainger Ballroom of Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

- The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) will meet at 6 p.m. in the Chicago Ballroom of the Chicago Marriott, 540 N. Michigan Ave.

----------

[email protected]



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune



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Old March 26th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #786
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Spire's plans tied to city park

By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah

Tribune staff reporter
Published March 26, 2007


The developer and architect of the Chicago Spire, a twisting skyscraper planned at the mouth of the Chicago River, hope to join a list of developers that have paid for city projects in exchange for more density for their developments.

The Spire's developer is dangling before city officials an offer of substantial funding for the long-delayed DuSable Park. In return, Dublin-based developer Garrett Kelleher hopes to design the lakefront park, which is near the Spire.


But the problem with his proposal is that some members of civic groups already have conceived a detailed plan for the park, and they are not happy with the new renderings.

The park issue could come up Monday at two community meetings to discuss the Spire.

"I see it as a potential opportunity for a project that has been legislated for the last 20 years," Chicago Parks Supt. Tim Mitchell said of the DuSable offer.

Kelleher is the latest developer to come knocking on the city's door hoping to make a highly dense development more appealing by offering to pay for a nearby public project.

Developers of Lakeshore East built a 6-acre park before starting construction on high-rises just south of the river. Trump Tower gave the city $18 million to be used for a nearby park and work along Wabash Avenue and the riverwalk.

Chicago planners say they tell developers up front that they'd like to see some public benefit. In Mayor Richard Daley's Chicago, open-space projects are heavily encouraged.

In the Spire's case, Kelleher is proposing a 2,000-foot tower--the tallest building in the nation--that is expected to house some 1,300 pricey condominiums.

Brent Ryan, urban planning professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the developer is well aware that the Streeterville community is "anti-density and well-organized."

"The developer needs to get a variety of zoning variances so there will be some kind of deal made," Ryan said, referring to the project's density. "[The park proposal] just sweetens the deal."

The Chicago Plan Commission will review the Spire proposal April 19.

Santiago Calatrava's designs call for the park to be divided into two berms, pulled apart to reveal views of Lake Michigan from Water Street. Plazas at the top of the berms would be connected by a pedestrian and bike bridge that would cross the park and then join Calatrava's sail-shaped swing bridge that crosses the river.

The bridge could pose a potential problem because the city Department of Transportation held a lakefront pedestrian bridge competition and selected a winner two years ago for the same location. Brian Steele, spokesman for the department said the city was not obligated to construct the winning design of the bridge.

The DuSable Park design also includes elements from a master plan released in August by the DuSable Park Coalition, which generally opposes the developer's design. The elements include a plaza for Martin Puryear's abstract sculpture of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, a black man of Haitian descent who is considered to be one of the city's founders, as well as an outdoor classroom, wetlands and entrances from the north flank of the riverwalk and Ogden slip.

"There's 70 percent similarity," Mitchell said of the two plans.

But what upsets Friends of the Parks, the main group opposing Kelleher and Calatrava's designs, are calls for a northbound on-ramp to mid-level Lake Shore Drive that will encroach on parkland.

The on-ramp would have motorists driving into bikers and pedestrians strolling along the midlevel of the drive, said Friends of the Parks' president Erma Tranter.

"I believe the reason why they're designing this park is because they need a ramp here," Tranter said. "It's not clear if they need it because of access, but this will be taking away parkland."

For park officials, who have been trying to build DuSable for two decades, the big question is who will pay the $12 million to construct it.

The city has pledged $3 million for DuSable and the Park District has also budgeted $3 million. Friends of the Parks believe additional money can come from state and federal officials. But the Park District is less confident, and the city is concentrating its efforts on finding funds for the possible 2016 Olympic Games.

"I'm not going to pursue with someone who does not have a checkbook at the table as opposed to someone who may be able to get the checkbook," Mitchell said.

The developer has priced its park design at $13.5 million, but has not disclosed whether he's willing to pay for the entire project.

- - -

Public meetings

There will be two meetings on Monday to discuss plans for the Chicago Spire:

- The Grant Park Advisory Council will meet at 12:15 p.m. Monday in the Grainger Ballroom of Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

- The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) will meet at 6 p.m. in the Chicago Ballroom of the Chicago Marriott, 540 N. Michigan Ave.

----------

[email protected]



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune



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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #787
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(never mind )
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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #788
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(never mind )
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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:51 PM   #789
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I like this project more and more. Is it sure it will go through?

Cant wait to see it in the skyline. It will make Chicago even better architecturewise.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #790
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Does someone want to tell us what happened at the meeting?
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Old March 27th, 2007, 12:07 AM   #791
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I like the developers plan for the park better. Heck you get an ampitheater/outdoor auditorium on top of it.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #792
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More twists in final plans for Chicago Spire

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=24369

More twists in final plans for Chicago Spire


By Lorene Yue
March 26, 2007

(Crain’s) — Final plans for a 2,000-foot-tall twisting condominium tower along Chicago’s waterfront were publicly revealed Monday afternoon as the project’s owner announced his intent to help fund the development of the long-awaited DuSable Park.
Through renderings, a three-dimensional scale model and a computer-generated video, architect Santiago Calatrava showed a glimpse of how the city’s skyline would change when the highly anticipated 150-story Chicago Spire is completed in 2010.

“We are trying to deliver a holistic image of the whole neighborhood,” Mr. Calatrava said during a presentation hosted by the Grant Park Advisory Council and the Grant Park Conservancy.

He referred to Chicago Spire’s 1,300 condos as a “mini-city” that would rise along Lake Shore Drive between the Chicago River and the Ogden slip.

The final plan, which is scheduled to go before the Chicago Plan Commission on April 19, included the latest modification: a more tapered and twisting point.

Part of the presentation included plans to integrate the Chicago Spire’s green space with the adjacent 3.5 acres that have been earmarked for nearly two decades as DuSable Park.

Chicago Spire owner Shelbourne Development Ltd. in Dublin, Ireland, agreed Monday to cover the estimated $6-million shortfall needed to develop the parcel of land “currently over-invaded by a population of rabbits,” said Bob O’Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy.

The park, which would honor city co-founder Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, has an estimated $12-million price tag. The Chicago Park District and the city long ago agreed to kick in $3 million apiece, but that only covers half the projected development cost, which has soared from its original 1988 estimate of $1.2 million.

“We think it’s a wonderful opportunity,” Mr. O’Neill said of Shelbourne Development’s agreement to help fund DuSable Park. “There is no better way to draw attention to DuSable Park than to hook that into all the attention (the Chicago Spire will draw).”

There are, however, issues that will need to be addressed before the park is built, critics said.

“The sticking points we still have are if they are able to modify the ramp they say they need to get people out and in at the mid- and lower level of Lake Shore Drive to go north on Lake Shore Drive,” said Erma Tranter, president of Friends of the Parks. “We asked to see if they can move the ramp to underneath.”

That ramp would encroach upon park property and would present a traffic hazard for pedestrians and bicyclists looking to enter DuSable Park, she said.

Mr. O’Neill said he, too, had concerns over traffic patterns created by Mr. Calatrava’s design for DuSable Park.

“The (park) designs are still open to discussions,” he said.

The Chicago Spire plans also will be discussed at a community meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Chicago Downtown Marriott on Michigan Avenue. That meeting will be hosted by the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, or SOAR.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #793
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First, I want to say that I am now 100% behind this building and that as McDonald's says, "I'm lovin' it!" The SOAR meeting was great. I'm at work though, so enough of my rambling though. Here's some pics I took last night:

























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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #794
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First, I want to say that I am now 100% behind this building and that as McDonald's says, "I'm lovin' it!" The SOAR meeting was great. I'm at work though, so enough of my rambling though. Here's some pics I took last night:

























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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #795
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Risk? What risk? Developer insists Spire will become reality

March 27, 2007
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter

The developer of the Chicago Spire said Monday that he's risking a large part of his net worth on the project, but that a skilled team of advisers and demand from international buyers will make the building a reality.

Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Dublin-based Shelbourne Development Group Ltd., sat with the Sun-Times to address a wide range of questions about his finances and his ability to carry off a project that experts have said could cost $2 billion.

He said his financier, Anglo Irish Bank, is supporting the project without a requirement that he first sell some of the more than 1,200 condominium units before starting construction. That's highly unusual in commercial finance, especially when the project is a 150-story building designed by Santiago Calatrava, one of the world's most famous and expensive architects.
But Kelleher insisted his record of success in Europe makes it possible. Excerpts from his Sun-Times interview follow:

Q. No other developer here would get to build a $2 billion building without pre-sales. How did you get that deal?

A. "First of all, I'm not agreeing with you that it's $2 billion. ... We're homing in on exactly what we believe the cost is going to be. ... We bought the site and we're progressive in design, and we are intending to go on site in Q2 [second quarter] of this year with caisson work. Then we will continue on and the plan is to launch the project in Q3 of this year.

"It will be marketed here and in New York, in London, in Dublin, in Paris, in Madrid, in Barcelona, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Hong Kong, Japan, Beijing, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Melbourne, etc."

Q. But why is your bank so confident?

"I've never failed to raise equity or senior debt for a project. ... I'm funding all the soft costs and all the early construction costs out of my own resources."

Q. How much money are you personally risking?

"I'm risking a significant portion of my net worth in this project. ... But if this project tanks, it's not going to knock me out of the game by any stretch of the imagination."

Q. A person close to you has said Deloitte & Touche certified that your net worth is $750 million. Is that accurate?

"Most of my net worth, 90 percent, is tied up in real estate -- greenfield sites, development sites and other locations. I am a shareholder in two public companies. At any given time, the number varies. On a good day, it could be greater than that."

'Pushing out the envelope'
Q. What qualifies you to take on a project of this magnitude?
"I've never done anything as challenging as this, and I don't think anybody has. Ten, 15 years ago I pushed out the envelope. This is pushing out the envelope again, and I've managed to assemble team members that between them have the wherewithal, the talent, the resources to implement the design."

Q. What is the largest project you have completed thus far?

"Every development has different challenges and intricacies and some of the things that from the outside appear to be slam dunks are very challenging. The challenge is getting to break ground."

Q. What is Calatrava's fee and is he an equity partner?

"His fee arrangement with Mr. Carley [previous developer Christopher Carley] was a percentage fee, and the fee arrangement with myself is based on square feet. ... He is not an equity shareholder at all."

Q. At one point you showed a different version of this building to community groups than you were showing privately to architectural insiders. Why did you let yourself get caught in a fib about the design?

"I'm not going to cop to that at all. What's been going on, and it's been going through many iterations during the course of five, six months, is we've been meeting with many civic groups. ... We showed a scheme but what we've said is this is a process. We've never said this is it."

Q. Have you showed the plans to downtown's alderman-elect, Brendan Reilly (42nd), and has he asked you to delay taking this to the City Council, since he might want time to review the details?

"He hasn't asked us to delay it, no. ... He has been advised on where things are at. I believe he's very positive and in support of the project."



© Copyright 2007 Sun-Times News Group
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #796
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http://www.suntimes.com/entertainmen...pire27.article

Skyline could have a brave new look

Latest design of Spire similar to birthday candle

March 27, 2007
BY KEVIN NANCE Architecture Critic

Forget the drill bit. Forget the dancing lady and the twisting tree trunk and the curl of smoke. The new visual metaphor for Santiago Calatrava's Chicago Spire -- the latest and "final" design of which the Spanish architect presented at two public meetings on Monday -- ought to be that of a birthday candle. The twisting, 2,000-foot tower on the lakefront near the base of Navy Pier is once again as skinny as a birthday taper, topped off after dark with a shaft of light.

But the candle metaphor isn't appropriate just because that's what the tower design looks like. If built as currently envisioned -- and that remains a big if, with everything depending on developer Garrett Kelleher's ability to pull off this gargantuan project -- the Spire will mark nothing less than the birth of an entirely new Chicago skyline.

In his public comments on Monday, Calatrava suggested that his tower will fit organically into the existing skyline. It will not. Jutting up at midpoint of the north-south line between the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center, the Spire will reinvent, as those great skyscrapers did in the 1960s and '70s, the way we visualize Chicago. This is both because of its awesome height -- 549 feet taller than Sears and a whopping 873 feet taller than Hancock -- and its uniquely poetic form.

Change is jarring, of course, but Calatrava's latest design makes this brave new world a welcome prospect. The new iteration retreats from the fattish, stubby, clumsy version offered late last year as a response to Kelleher's demand to add more units and do away with the antenna-like spire, which he saw as financially unfeasible. Spire 4.0, as we might call it, returns instead to the more slender, elegantly tapering form of the first two versions, resolving almost to a point at the top.

The twisting effect created by a gradual rotation of the floorplates, which had stalled well short of the summit at about 270 degrees in the previous design, has been restored to a full 360 degrees.
While the new version lacks the physical spire that topped the early designs so satisfyingly, the renderings unveiled at a meeting of the Grant Park Conservancy show that magical nighttime lighting effect, a 21st century answer to the great Art Deco spires of the 1920s and '30s.

In an interview, Calatrava was openly skeptical about this ghost-spire feature but seemed to recognize that it may be necessary to pass regulatory muster with the administration of Mayor Daley, who is famously fond of spires. "I think it's unnecessary," Calatrava told me, "but if that's what Chicago wants, I'll do it."

My guess is, Chicago wants.

And like the third version, 4.0 keeps the parking underground, offering instead an adjacent plaza that could become a small but signature public space. The plaza, which the renderings show featuring an abstract sculpture (with, naturally, a spiraling shape) by the architect himself, is shielded by a stand of trees from Lake Shore Drive, and transitions easily into the planned DuSable Park just east of the drive.

The renderings also depict the tower's soaring four-story glass lobby at its base, in which the building meets the ground with seven steel columns circling the concrete inner core. The lobby's transparency is important to Calatrava, obviously, in part because the Spire won't be in any substantial sense a public building. It will be primarily a residence for millionaires, but the architect wants the rest of us to be able to approach it, peer into it, dream ourselves inside it as much as possible.

He needn't worry. Even for Chicagoans who never set foot in it, which is to say most of us, the Spire will be the stuff of dreams. Open your eyes anywhere in this city and there it will be. Close your eyes and it'll be there, too.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #797
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Risk? What risk? Developer insists Spire will become reality

March 27, 2007
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter

The developer of the Chicago Spire said Monday that he's risking a large part of his net worth on the project, but that a skilled team of advisers and demand from international buyers will make the building a reality.

Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Dublin-based Shelbourne Development Group Ltd., sat with the Sun-Times to address a wide range of questions about his finances and his ability to carry off a project that experts have said could cost $2 billion.

He said his financier, Anglo Irish Bank, is supporting the project without a requirement that he first sell some of the more than 1,200 condominium units before starting construction. That's highly unusual in commercial finance, especially when the project is a 150-story building designed by Santiago Calatrava, one of the world's most famous and expensive architects.
But Kelleher insisted his record of success in Europe makes it possible. Excerpts from his Sun-Times interview follow:

Q. No other developer here would get to build a $2 billion building without pre-sales. How did you get that deal?

A. "First of all, I'm not agreeing with you that it's $2 billion. ... We're homing in on exactly what we believe the cost is going to be. ... We bought the site and we're progressive in design, and we are intending to go on site in Q2 [second quarter] of this year with caisson work. Then we will continue on and the plan is to launch the project in Q3 of this year.

"It will be marketed here and in New York, in London, in Dublin, in Paris, in Madrid, in Barcelona, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Hong Kong, Japan, Beijing, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Melbourne, etc."

Q. But why is your bank so confident?

"I've never failed to raise equity or senior debt for a project. ... I'm funding all the soft costs and all the early construction costs out of my own resources."

Q. How much money are you personally risking?

"I'm risking a significant portion of my net worth in this project. ... But if this project tanks, it's not going to knock me out of the game by any stretch of the imagination."

Q. A person close to you has said Deloitte & Touche certified that your net worth is $750 million. Is that accurate?

"Most of my net worth, 90 percent, is tied up in real estate -- greenfield sites, development sites and other locations. I am a shareholder in two public companies. At any given time, the number varies. On a good day, it could be greater than that."

'Pushing out the envelope'
Q. What qualifies you to take on a project of this magnitude?
"I've never done anything as challenging as this, and I don't think anybody has. Ten, 15 years ago I pushed out the envelope. This is pushing out the envelope again, and I've managed to assemble team members that between them have the wherewithal, the talent, the resources to implement the design."

Q. What is the largest project you have completed thus far?

"Every development has different challenges and intricacies and some of the things that from the outside appear to be slam dunks are very challenging. The challenge is getting to break ground."

Q. What is Calatrava's fee and is he an equity partner?

"His fee arrangement with Mr. Carley [previous developer Christopher Carley] was a percentage fee, and the fee arrangement with myself is based on square feet. ... He is not an equity shareholder at all."

Q. At one point you showed a different version of this building to community groups than you were showing privately to architectural insiders. Why did you let yourself get caught in a fib about the design?

"I'm not going to cop to that at all. What's been going on, and it's been going through many iterations during the course of five, six months, is we've been meeting with many civic groups. ... We showed a scheme but what we've said is this is a process. We've never said this is it."

Q. Have you showed the plans to downtown's alderman-elect, Brendan Reilly (42nd), and has he asked you to delay taking this to the City Council, since he might want time to review the details?

"He hasn't asked us to delay it, no. ... He has been advised on where things are at. I believe he's very positive and in support of the project."



© Copyright 2007 Sun-Times News Group
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #798
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Latoso, thanks for sharing those with us.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #799
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Tommy Chong's got to be loving this design...!

(Just kidding - this latest design is the best so far. - BUILD IT!)
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #800
nomarandlee
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3D view of proposed skyscraper released

http://www.chicagotribune.com/featur...ack=sto-relcon

3D view of proposed skyscraper released

By Josh Noel and Tonya Maxwell
Tribune staff reporters

Published March 26, 2007, 9:23 PM CDT


Promising an iconic structure that would enhance Chicago's reputation as an architectural mecca, architect Santiago Calatrava on Monday unveiled an animated 360-degree view of a proposed downtown skyscraper that would be the nation's tallest building.

Gasps echoed through a standing-room audience at a meeting of the Grant Park Advisory Council as a swooping computer-generated perspective showed the proposed Chicago Spire from nearly every exterior angle. The video offered the most lifelike view yet of the 150-story condominium tower that would be built in the Streeterville neighborhood. It has undergone several major design changes since being announced almost two years ago.


Monday's design, which returns the building to the slender frame initially proposed, will be presented next month to city officials. Initially capped with a spire leading to a flat top, the current rendering has the building tapered to a rounded point that looks like a peeled banana.

The white structure, which twists like a drill bit from ground to sky, also was publicly represented for the first time by a three-dimensional model that sat at the head of a Symphony Center ballroom at Monday's meeting.

Although reaction was generally favorable, Streeterville residents expressed concern that the building will increase traffic, pollution and noise in their neighborhood.

Among them was Teddy Savas, who attended a similar Monday meeting of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents.

"No one seems to pay attention to the residents of Streeterville," she said, pointing to several projects that she said have increased traffic problems during the five years she has lived in the area. "I'd like to look up and see it shorter."

Aesthetically, the building is gorgeous, she said. But a shorter building would mean fewer units with fewer residents and fewer cars.

The plan also calls for construction of DuSable Park on an adjacent undeveloped plot just south of Navy Pier. Advocates have been trying to get the park built for decades.

Grant Park Council President Bob O'Neill said developer Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Shelbourne Development, has pledged to help fund the park. A spokesperson for Kelleher confirmed that after the meeting.

Calatrava said the park and a planned plaza beside the skyscraper are important to the overall aesthetics of the project.

"We acknowledge the enormous importance of the park," he said. "We think it is an enormously beautiful situation."

Although funding is not in place, Calatrava promised that the building would become an iconic part of the Chicago skyline, creating a lighter and more fluid anchor beside the John Hancock Center and Sears Tower. He spoke of a sparkling addition to the lakeshore that reflects the afternoon and morning light.

The issue of funding the building was not addressed Monday.

"I'm completely confident that it will be built," he said. "People will come to Chicago in 300 or 400 years to see architecture of the 20th and 21st Century."

Kelleher left the meeting without taking questions.

Slated to house about 1,200 high-priced condominiums, the Chicago Spire would sit on a now-vacant site west of Lake Shore Drive along two-lane East North Water Street. The building would have 1,350 underground parking spaces and several floors of amenities for residents, but no public space.

During his 30-minute presentation, Calatrava showed the audience his early hand-drawn sketches for the building and withdrew a circular shell from his briefcase to illustrate the design that helped inspire his design.

He showed several renditions of the building and examples of his previous work, which included a similar building in southern Sweden constructed amid an existing neighborhood.

Kathy Thomas, 47, an investment banker who lives in a townhouse across the street from the site of the proposed building, cornered Calatrava after his presentation to air concerns about traffic and construction

Calatrava assured her it is "possible to preserve the integrity of your neighborhood."

Although she called the building "beautiful and fascinating," Thomas said neither she nor any of her neighbors want such a large building directly in front of their homes. But she said she was relieved that traffic would reach the tower from Lake Shore Drive, not smaller streets that pass in front of her home.


"We can't stop it. We know that," Thomas said. "But to know that they have taken other neighborhoods into account on other projects makes me feel better."

O'Neill said the building fits into his vision of "parkitecture," which combines parks, buildings and architecture into a common theme that encourages maximum light, air and green space downtown.

"We're ecstatic about it," he said. "It's fantastic and has been integrated into the park."

Early discussion of the building included concerns of the skyscraper as a target for terrorism, but that talk was nonexistent Monday.

"This building is not a particular target, except for people who want to live well and in peace," Calatrava said.

During the Streeterville meeting, outgoing Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd) urged residents to support the project, drawing laughs when he joked that Wisconsin might inherit the towering spire should Chicago reject the plan.

Afterward, residents Sharon Davidson and her husband, Tom, dismissed traffic fears and said the building can only improve the lakefront.

"We don't want them to build it in Milwaukee," Tom Davidson said. "That would be a shame."

Last edited by nomarandlee; March 27th, 2007 at 05:33 PM.
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