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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:06 AM   #9241
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They look Great ! and especialy in the inside it must be a nice view through the inside
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #9242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrabbit View Post
"Luxury" is maybe too subjective a qualifier - but unlike Trump, many of the Spire's units include Calatrava-designed, site-specific furniture & layouts; the galley units especially are floor-to-ceiling Calatrava, right down to the sleeping pods. Not necessarily more luxurious than Trump, but probably more "collectable".

The novel idea of selling a brand new, near cookie-cutter, condo unit as a unique work of art - that is, as an "object" that has intrinsic artistic value beyond its mere functional value as a convenient and pleasing living space - at vastly inflated prices worth the premium simply based on the reputation and name of the architect has proven to be a non-starter.

The building needs to be profitable at the current market rates for upper-end downtown Chicago condo units now, which is why I believe it has a snowball's chance in hell of being profitable as designed. Which, of course, makes it unlikely to be built as designed unless Kelleher still wants to burn through tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars of his own (and other suckers') money to get this thing built out of shear vanity.

Don't hold your breath.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #9243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFDalton View Post
The novel idea of selling a brand new, near cookie-cutter, condo unit as a unique work of art - that is, as an "object" that has intrinsic artistic value beyond its mere functional value as a convenient and pleasing living space - at vastly inflated prices worth the premium simply based on the reputation and name of the architect has proven to be a non-starter.

The building needs to be profitable at the current market rates for upper-end downtown Chicago condo units now, which is why I believe it has a snowball's chance in hell of being profitable as designed. Which, of course, makes it unlikely to be built as designed unless Kelleher still wants to burn through tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars of his own (and other suckers') money to get this thing built out of shear vanity.

Don't hold your breath.
The Spire does indeed need to be profitable...upon completion (possibly in 2013 or '14) when the market has recovered some if not all of the lost ground and buyers are waiting for new high quality residences. As to the marketability of starchitect-designed condos, where are they? Most of the innovative, "arty" designs are either on hold or cancelled. Beekman Tower in NYC will be a good test of whether there can be any premium on architecturally significant condos in the US. I cannot think of any development in Chicago that matches the description, certainly not Trump Tower which has little or no architectural merit or value other than its height.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #9244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFDalton View Post
The novel idea of selling a brand new, near cookie-cutter, condo unit as a unique work of art - that is, as an "object" that has intrinsic artistic value beyond its mere functional value as a convenient and pleasing living space - at vastly inflated prices worth the premium simply based on the reputation and name of the architect has proven to be a non-starter.

The building needs to be profitable at the current market rates for upper-end downtown Chicago condo units now, which is why I believe it has a snowball's chance in hell of being profitable as designed. Which, of course, makes it unlikely to be built as designed unless Kelleher still wants to burn through tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars of his own (and other suckers') money to get this thing built out of shear vanity.

Don't hold your breath.
Yeah, well, unified design kept FL Wright in business here in Chicagoland for decades, long before Richard Meier was even conceived - it is neither novel here nor a non-starter.

As for this particular project - I just don't know what sort of margins Kelleher has been working with. I'm skeptical as well that he could turn a profit.

Last edited by wrabbit; December 6th, 2009 at 04:03 PM.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 07:19 PM   #9245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpunk View Post
The Spire does indeed need to be profitable...upon completion (possibly in 2013 or '14) when the market has recovered some if not all of the lost ground and buyers are waiting for new high quality residences. As to the marketability of starchitect-designed condos, where are they? Most of the innovative, "arty" designs are either on hold or cancelled. Beekman Tower in NYC will be a good test of whether there can be any premium on architecturally significant condos in the US. I cannot think of any development in Chicago that matches the description, certainly not Trump Tower which has little or no architectural merit or value other than its height.
Beekman is no longer condominiums, they went to market-rate apartments. It will most likely become condos at some point in the future.

You could look at Aqua as a development with a lot of architectural merit. That tower sold out in less than a year (albeit, at the height of the condo market). Today unfortunately, the closings are not going well.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #9246
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This is going tooo slowww, i need more action here!! i cant wait to c this tower done...
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Old December 7th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #9247
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..

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Old December 7th, 2009, 06:42 AM   #9248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrabbit View Post
Yeah, well, unified design kept FL Wright in business here in Chicagoland for decades, long before Richard Meier was even conceived - it is neither novel here nor a non-starter.
I was going to bring up an analogy to Frank Lloyd Wright in my post, but didn't partially because I thought it would detract from my main point. Also, I expected someone to make just the argument you are making, so I could respond later.

You bring up a good point, until you think about it a little more. Wright designed his residences individually on commission from a handful of eccentric clients to fit specific sites and specific client demands.

But to be analogous with what Kelleher attempted with the Spire - assuming we can even put Calatrava's work on the Spire in the same league as what Wright accomplished - imagine if Wright designed an entire subdivision of 1200 or so Wright "prarie style" houses. Each one would be slightly different, but essentially flexible and marketable enough to appeal to a wide audience. I would suggest that any premium the builder of such a subdivision would be able to reasonably expect based on selling Wright as the architect would really be based on the convenience and suitability of the design, quality of construction, location, local amenities, etc. In other words, it would have to stand on its own merits and compete in a crowded marketplace. The builder would not have realized a huge premium based on the houses' design vernacular - certainly not on a scale of hundreds of units. It's the same reason a unique oil painting is worth exponentially more than a "limited edition" print by the same artist.

You could also make the observation that if a refined design aesthetic were truly a highly marketable commodity in Chicago condos which developers could count on to yield far more profits than the costs involved in creating it, would the Elysian have been "value engineered" (stripped of much of its intended rooftop ornamentation) the way it has been? Indeed, would it have been built at all?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #9249
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Is this idea interesting, or silly?

A friend and I were looking through this site, and after seeing the pictures of the CS site, we looked at the Tokyo Sky Tree. He said, why don't they just build something like that? The site looks like it would be perfect for it, and it would cost a lot less.

Could selling tickets to an observation / tourist site be profitable? The Tokyo guys must think so.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #9250
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Chicago Spire | 610m | 2000ft | 150 fl | On Hold

on hold? why?...

who have the up date progress?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #9251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kang rey View Post
Chicago Spire | 610m | 2000ft | 150 fl | On Hold

on hold? why?...

who have the up date progress?
Read the last three pages.


Quick version....


If the developer went ahead he'd have to do so with his own money, he doesn't have enough, he's not stupid enough to build this with his own money in the current real estate climate and no bank is stupid enough to loan him the money. This project only works if the units can be sold at a certain $$ per square foot. There is ZERO chance that they can sell at that price and hence the project is on hold because economically speaking it just does not cash flow anymore.


My vote is that it should be changed from on hold to "dead on arrival" but that's just me.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #9252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
Read the last three pages.


Quick version....


If the developer went ahead he'd have to do so with his own money, he doesn't have enough, he's not stupid enough to build this with his own money in the current real estate climate and no bank is stupid enough to loan him the money. This project only works if the units can be sold at a certain $$ per square foot. There is ZERO chance that they can sell at that price and hence the project is on hold because economically speaking it just does not cash flow anymore.


My vote is that it should be changed from on hold to "dead on arrival" but that's just me.
maybe you should read again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,1953419.story

Spire developer Garrett Kelleher to meet with leaders of AFL-CIO pension investment trusts
By Mary Ellen Podmolik
November 30, 2009


Chicago Spire developer Garrett Kelleher is scheduled to meet Monday with leaders of AFL-CIO pension investment trusts in what is being characterized as "advanced" talks regarding the planned skyscraper's funding.

Under discussion is a potential $170 million land loan that would retire Shelbourne Development Group Inc.'s loan from Anglo Irish Bank, pay off liens and restart work on a project dormant for more than a year.

..."When I was sitting in Copenhagen and things went south, this moved to the No. 1 slot. We're way past the look-see stage. We're in the commitment stage now.

...Kelleher and Spire representatives have been making the rounds of local union halls in the past few weeks, trying to generate interest from the locals' pension funds as well, according to a source close to the discussions. Last week, one unspecified local union committed $40 million to the project, the Shelbourne spokeswoman confirmed.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #9253
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My opinion is just that, my opinion. YMMV of course. I'd love to be wrong on this BTW, but I just don't see it right now.


The developer is out a bunch of money right now so his comments are not surprising.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #9254
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The suspense builds, Kelleher is throwing his own fortune behind the project now!

Quote:
Push to Finish Tallest Tower
DECEMBER 8, 2009

Seeking Jobs, Chicago Workers May Lend $170 Million to Restart 150-Story Building


...
Now a group of union pension funds is conducting due diligence on a plan to lend $170 million to Irish developer Shelbourne Development Group, said Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 24 unions with some 100,000 members.

Mr. Villanova said the individual pension-fund directors, along with an AFL-CIO pension fund and a union life-insurance fund, are working on a loan package secured by the development site that could be announced in coming days.

Unions have been active investors in the Chicago construction market for years, with one AFL-CIO fund investing about $1 billion in the area. However, the Spire comes at a particularly risky time and on a scale all its own.

"It's about jobs for my members," Mr. Villanova said, adding that the project could mean 7.5 million man-hours of work over the next four to five years -- equivalent to roughly 900 full-time jobs for the hard-hit unions, some of which face unemployment as high as 30%.

...

Kim Metcalfe, spokeswoman for Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Shelbourne, said union financing would allow the developer to pay off its original land loan from Anglo Irish Bank and other creditors, and to resume work in January bringing water and electricity to the site.

She said the group is confident it can secure financing to complete the building, which she said would cost "significantly" less than $2 billion. "We are obviously in an extremely good position with more than 30% of the units sold and $194 million of [Mr. Kelleher's] personal money in the building," she said.

...

The Spire got an unlikely break in early October with the demise of Chicago's hopes to host the 2016 Olympics. Mr. Villanova, who was on Chicago's Olympic bid committee, said the unions had committed to help fund the Olympic Village to house athletes. "When that went south on us, we started focusing on the Spire project," he said.

After cranking out an average of 4,500 new condo units a year downtown for the past four years, Chicago developers expect to complete 900 units next year and fewer than 100 in 2012, said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago appraisal and consulting firm."We don't see cranes in the sky anymore," Ms. Lisser said, which could mean the Spire would arrive in a much-changed market in four or five years.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1260...Tabs%3Darticle
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Old December 8th, 2009, 06:57 AM   #9255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpunk View Post
...Trump Tower which has little or no architectural merit or value other than its height.
I whole-heartedly agree.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #9256
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Wall Street Journal video interview about AFL CIO negotiations

http://online.wsj.com/video/news-hub...B7E7C6036.html

edit: this is part of the article onn already posted but I'll leave the link anyway.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #9257
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Originally Posted by dnobsemajdnob View Post
He does exist, and the Spire will be built too. Unions will come up with $1.5b in financing for one of the riskiest projects this side of Dubai so that they can provide jobs and help make Chicago an "international" destination city.
I don't know how many times you need to remind us of how naīve we are, but please do us all a favor and read the articles. Show me where in either the Trib or WSJ it says that unions will put up $1.5 billion.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #9258
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Would you shut up and wait to see what happens!
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #9259
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It's great to see Kelleher signal his commitment to the Spire. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape the landscape of a major city and to build an icon for the entire US. If the steel goes up, I think there will be huge interest, even some global interest in owning a piece of it and condo prices will rise as units sell. In this business, initial prices mean nothing when the buyers start to line up.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #9260
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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...5efTwD9CFE1A80

Stalled Chicago skyscraper project may start again
By DON BABWIN (AP) – 5 hours ago
CHICAGO — Construction of what would be North America's tallest building may move forward thanks to unions that not only want their workers to build it but are trying to put together a deal to help pay for it.
A group of union pension funds — eager to provide work for union workers — are in talks to loan $170 million to Irish developer Shelbourne Development Group so construction of the twisting 2,000-foot-high Chicago Spire can resume as soon as early next year.
The Spire, which won city approval and saw workers break ground in 2007, has sat dormant for a year since the global financial crisis triggered various fights involving bankers, the architect and the developer, bringing work to a standstill.
The loan would pay off the estimated $64 million loan made by Anglo Irish Bank and satisfy various liens to firms that have worked on the Spire, including one by a firm associated with architect Santiago Calatrava, who stopped working on the project, claiming the developer owed him more than $11 million.
Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, said the money would come from an AFL-CIO pension fund and Union Life Insurance Co., and perhaps pension funds from various locals.
The reason, he said, is simple.
"This would be 7.5 million man-hours for my members and I have locals that have 30 percent unemployment," said Villanova, whose group represents two dozen unions with about 100,000 members. He said the project — which Shelbourne said would take about four years to complete — would mean work for as many as 1,000 union workers.
Villanova didn't know exactly when an agreement could be reached. But he said he is "very optimistic and hopeful" that it'll happen.
He downplayed the risk of investing in a skyscraper that will house nearly 1,200 condos in a city flooded with so many new condos that owners in some parts of the city have struggled to sell them.
For one thing, he said, unions have been making these kinds of loans for years. He said, for example, the AFL-CIO fund has invested more in Chicago — about $1 billion — than in any other U.S. city.
Also, the project is years away from completion, meaning there's plenty of time for the market to improve. Besides, he said, the deal now being considered would make the trusts the property's first mortgage holder, meaning the trusts would be "first in line" to take possession of the lakefront property if the project failed.
Shelbourne doesn't think that will happen. In March 2008 the developer said more than 30 percent of the units had been sold. And while spokeswoman Kim Metcalfe said the company continues to use that figure, she said there have been more sales since then and that because of "a little loosening up on the lending side" recently, Shelbourne is confident sales will pick up.
The condominiums start at $750,000 each, with most costing between $2 million and $15 million, she said.
One analyst said the project being at least a few years away from completion could work in the Spire's favor.
Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago real estate consulting firm, said after next year — when 900 downtown condos are expected to be completed — and 2011, when 86 are slated to be finished, there is little on the horizon.
"The pipeline is empty and there are no proposed projects," said Lissner.
The CN Tower in Toronto, at 1,815 feet, is North America's tallest freestanding structure. Chicago's Willis Tower, formerly called the Sears Tower, is the tallest U.S. building at 1,451 feet.
Copyright Š 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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