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Old December 17th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #9341
Uaarkson
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I laugh my ass off every time someone suggests Obama should/would give money to this project. rofl
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Old December 17th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #9342
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For me its even above me why unions are going to pay for this, in some way its like workers would like to pay for building they are going to build
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Old December 17th, 2009, 07:35 AM   #9343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrykus View Post
For me its even above me why unions are going to pay for this, in some way its like workers would like to pay for building they are going to build
That is actually exactly what it is, and it's called INVESTMENT. The Unions invest money in a project that they consider will create jobs and produce a return on the initial amount invested. Just logical.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 01:22 AM   #9344
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Dec 17

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Old December 18th, 2009, 01:38 AM   #9345
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This would be a great thing for Chicago and the USA!
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Old December 18th, 2009, 02:34 AM   #9346
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all i have to say is that if people can get additional funding for crazy projects like in dubai then the spire should be able to get funding. in the long run the financial security of a project like the spire in chicago is much more sound then creating a fantasy in the desert.

hope this goes through. think the spire will be a great addition to the chicago skyline.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #9347
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Old December 20th, 2009, 12:21 AM   #9348
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http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...rticleId=32828

Chicago Spire twists in wind as union funds pass on bailout loan
By: Eddie Baeb December 21, 2009

Officials at four big investment funds affiliated with labor unions say they're not interested in rescuing the stalled Chicago Spire project.

...But two union funds identified by a local labor leader and a Spire spokeswoman as having expressed interest, the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust and the union-backed life insurer ULLICO Inc., are taking a pass, according to top executives there. Representatives of two others, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and the Multi-Employer Property Trust, say the Spire isn't a suitable investment for them.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 12:25 AM   #9349
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Here we go again, Spire stocks continue to roll.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 12:26 AM   #9350
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Here's the full article for those who don't want to register. Can't say I'm surprised some of the fund managers declined. It's just too risky.



Chicago Spire twists in wind as union funds pass on bailout loan
By: Eddie Baeb December 21, 2009
Officials at four big investment funds affiliated with labor unions say they're not interested in rescuing the stalled Chicago Spire project.

Recent reports that Spire developer Garrett Kelleher and union officials are discussing a possible loan rekindled hope that work would resume on the twisting tower, which at 150 stories would be North America's tallest building.

But two union funds identified by a local labor leader and a Spire spokeswoman as having expressed interest, the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust and the union-backed life insurer ULLICO Inc., are taking a pass, according to top executives there. Representatives of two others, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and the Multi-Employer Property Trust, say the Spire isn't a suitable investment for them.

"It's not something we're able to do," says Edward Smith, president of ULLICO. "Unfortunately, these are just very difficult markets."

Another union fund or group of funds still could step forward with a loan for the project. Mr. Kelleher also could secure funding from other sources. But the lack of interest from the four big funds narrows the Irish developer's options as he seeks a financial lifeline for the Spire.

They're among the largest funds of their kind, controlling about $13 billion in union pension funds and other assets. They also have a history of commercial real estate investing here and around the country, and an interest in backing projects that create jobs for union workers.

Worries about the prospects of the Spire in a moribund real estate market appear to have trumped their desire to help put union members back to work. The funds are no more eager than other real estate investors to risk money on a highly speculative project in the worst downturn in recent memory.

Mr. Kelleher seeks about $170 million in short-term financing to pay off existing debt and move the project forward. It would be a particularly risky loan because the most likely source of funds for repayment would be a construction loan for the $1-billion-plus project. Construction lenders typically advance funds only after a developer sells 50% of the units in a condominium project. After two years of worldwide marketing efforts, Mr. Kelleher has sold about 30% of the Spire's 1,194 units.

In essence, Mr. Kelleher is asking the union funds to bet on his ability to sell condos in a stagnant downtown housing market, where mortgage and construction financing is hard to come by.

Michael Arnold, head of investor relations for the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, says his fund can't take that risk. "We would obviously like to be helpful," he says. "We understand the interest, but we're not any different than other real estate lenders today."

Thomas Villanova, president of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, hopes union fund managers will consider not only financial risk but also the job-creating benefits of the project.

"This just can't be looked at in a straight investment-type view. You've got to add into the equation this would be 7.5 million man-hours for my members," Mr. Villanova says. "I don't think we've ever seen times as bad as they are now."

Mr. Villanova organized a meeting in the spring between Mr. Kelleher's company, Shelbourne Development Group Inc., and representatives of the 24 local unions that comprise his group. He says some local union officials met with Shelbourne again, but he can't recall which ones.

More recently, Mr. Villanova arranged a meeting on Nov. 30 between Shelbourne and Mark Ayers, a Washington, D.C.-based union leader who's a board member with ULLICO and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust. Mr. Ayers didn't return calls.

Told that Mr. Arnold and ULLICO's Mr. Smith say their funds aren't interested in underwriting the Spire, Mr. Villanova responds: "Well, then that's their answer."

Mr. Villanova says his local members may still find a way to pool some of their pension money along with the national funds and make a deal. He acknowledges a loan to the Spire would be an unusual move for a local union.

'I CAN'T IMAGINE'

Representatives of three locals that belong to Mr. Villanova's organization — Boilermakers Local 1, Elevator Constructors Local 2 and Operating Engineers Local 150 — say they aren't pursuing a Spire investment. Calls to the other locals weren't returned.

"I don't know of any (local pension funds) involved in those talks," says Jack Marco, chairman of Chicago-based Marco Consulting Group Inc., an investment adviser to union pension funds. "I can't imagine who would be doing that."

A spokeswoman for Shelbourne, which is battling eviction from its sales office at NBC Tower and a lawsuit by Bank of America Corp. over a $4.9-million loan default, says it's still talking with Mr. Ayers and unions she declines to name. She adds that Shelbourne is working on other financings and recently arranged a "bridge financing" but won't name the lender or disclose the amount of the loan.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #9351
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The big stumbling block is the financing for construction. In a healthy environment, Kelleher would have been able to take an agreement with the unions and present them to the banks and get the larger package. Nowadays, the banks want half the equity up front and the unions want the bank financing locked up before agreeing to anything. At this stage, things don't look good for the Spire. Anybody got a billion under the couch cushions?
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Old December 20th, 2009, 03:01 AM   #9352
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Just hit Crain's: four AFL-CIO investment funds have given the Spire a pass. The article also describes the Trades Council's involvement and the current financing problems.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...rticleId=32828
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Old December 20th, 2009, 05:13 AM   #9353
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Old December 20th, 2009, 08:44 AM   #9354
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Looking more and more like another notch in the belt for unbuilt Chicago supertalls. Very unfortunate.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #9355
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I'm very pessimistic about the situation now. Unless Chicago is willing to let this sit for 10-20 years like that hotel in N. Korea, it might be time to call in the dump trucks and fill the hole, and turn it into a park, as I'm sure the neighbors won't tolerate the site as it is for much longer. They could always re-excavate at a future time if it ever gets financing.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 09:55 PM   #9356
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What the hell does that have to do with anything!? I am very dissapointed with this development. This really needs to be built! I always seems like the best designs go down the drain. They have been pissing around with this for years. Built it or bury it!
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Old December 21st, 2009, 04:09 PM   #9357
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Crap.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 08:14 PM   #9358
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Villanova (head of Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council) is confident in the ability for local unions to pool money together to kick the project off again, but I'm now back to being skeptical.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 12:39 AM   #9359
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Flame View Post
What the hell does that have to do with anything!? I am very dissapointed with this development. This really needs to be built! I always seems like the best designs go down the drain. They have been pissing around with this for years. Built it or bury it!

Yeah, the design is timeless but everything else about this development is seriously stale.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 02:37 AM   #9360
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News video about the status of the Spire.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...ia.pl?mmId=979
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