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Old November 16th, 2013, 09:27 PM   #9741
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Originally Posted by DFDalton View Post
In the current political and economic climate in Chicago, the Spire has no chance. Practically the only buildings going up right now are rental apartment buildings. No one with any sense wants to potentially be trapped in an unsellable high-end condo in a cash-strapped city where the politicians see you as a bottomless ATM to be mercilessly tapped. You'd have to be borderline insane to buy a multimillion dollar condo in Chicago these days.

Now if they could cut costs, do some brutal WTC-style value engineering and turn the Spire into a rental building, it may have a chance. Shortening the building by 30 - 50 floors and eliminating the twisting floor plates might make it feasible.
I doubt they would go for a shortened Spire. It would be a waste of the foundations, they wouldn't get true iconic status for their building and as you said, there are other non-high-end rentals out there right now. In my opinion they either gonna build the full Spire as we see it, or they will keep the spot and foundations waiting until they can get the money to build such a big project here. Bad thing is, that can be a decade, that can be two decades, that can be even more than that. I don't know if the current Chicago market can support a tower of this size but I will be pesimistic until proven otherwise. Yes, this might be a jumpstart to a new Chicago construction boom, but I think it is more probable that the recovery, for which the developer is waiting still hasn't reached Chicago. As I said, I just dunno
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Old November 16th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #9742
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Well, I think the best thing for Garrett Kelleher is to build a tower like the Fordham Spire tower or the 7 South Dearborn project. The new tower will be a mixed-use, with a hotel that occupies the first 60-70 floors and apartments for remaining floors. I believe that it would will be more economically feasible than a 150 apartment floors tower.

Fordham Spire tower - 124 floors - 1600ft roof - 2000ft spire

7 South Dearborn tower - 112 floors - 1,567ft roof - 2000ft spire

image hosted on flickr
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Old November 16th, 2013, 10:50 PM   #9743
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Originally Posted by DFDalton View Post
In the current political and economic climate in Chicago, the Spire has no chance. Practically the only buildings going up right now are rental apartment buildings. No one with any sense wants to potentially be trapped in an unsellable high-end condo in a cash-strapped city where the politicians see you as a bottomless ATM to be mercilessly tapped. You'd have to be borderline insane to buy a multimillion dollar condo in Chicago these days.

Now if they could cut costs, do some brutal WTC-style value engineering and turn the Spire into a rental building, it may have a chance. Shortening the building by 30 - 50 floors and eliminating the twisting floor plates might make it feasible.
People who buy at the highest levels of the marketplace would likely not claim Chicago as their primary domicile so whatever tax problems the city has wouldn't affect them, aside from property taxes. But the high-end global pied-a-terre market is a New York or Miami thing, not a Chicago one. Locals would be stretched to pay anything over $5 million for a condo but the Spire needs $10-30 million sale units to recoup the costs. That market may exist or be developed over time, but who would finance this tower as a test market platform?

If such a market existed now, a developer could actually reduce the number of units and charge more money on the address and the fact that this is a Calatrava signature tower. This thing however, could never go rental and if Related builds something else at the site, it will be condos. The location screams condos.
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Old November 16th, 2013, 11:16 PM   #9744
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People who buy at the highest levels of the marketplace would likely not claim Chicago as their primary domicile so whatever tax problems the city has wouldn't affect them, aside from property taxes. But the high-end global pied-a-terre market is a New York or Miami thing, not a Chicago one. Locals would be stretched to pay anything over $5 million for a condo but the Spire needs $10-30 million sale units to recoup the costs. That market may exist or be developed over time, but who would finance this tower as a test market platform?

If such a market existed now, a developer could actually reduce the number of units and charge more money on the address and the fact that this is a Calatrava signature tower. This thing however, could never go rental and if Related builds something else at the site, it will be condos. The location screams condos.
Remember Ty Warner had already bought the penthouse for $40 million. There are countless ridiculously wealthy people who claim Chicago as their primary residence as many large companies have their global, national or regional headquarters in the city and they're all run by very highly paid executives. There's also major law firms, hospitals, sports teams etc centered in Chicago.
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Old November 17th, 2013, 12:27 AM   #9745
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I doubt they would go for a shortened Spire. It would be a waste of the foundations, they wouldn't get true iconic status for their building and as you said, there are other non-high-end rentals out there right now. In my opinion they either gonna build the full Spire as we see it, or they will keep the spot and foundations waiting until they can get the money to build such a big project here. Bad thing is, that can be a decade, that can be two decades, that can be even more than that. I don't know if the current Chicago market can support a tower of this size but I will be pesimistic until proven otherwise. Yes, this might be a jumpstart to a new Chicago construction boom, but I think it is more probable that the recovery, for which the developer is waiting still hasn't reached Chicago. As I said, I just dunno
That's not the way bussiness works. If they come to the conclusion that building the Spire is economically feasible (an unlikely scenario IMO) then they will build it. If building a smaller tower is the feasible option, then they will go for it.

The foundation is only a fraction of the building cost, the fact that is completed (is it really completed?) would be an asset whatever they build the original project or a reduced one, since it is already done, but it wont be considered a "waste" not to build the original project, the waste would be building an economically unfeasible building, or make the site dormant (and paying taxes) for decades just waiting for a time, that may or may not happen, when the project would be economically feasible.

Just look at that other project, Waterview, later turned to 111 West Wacker with a cut of over 100 meters on the project, and that building not only had the fundations completed, but more than 20 stories done, and yet, they didnt followed the original project because no longer make sense economically.
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Old November 17th, 2013, 05:43 AM   #9746
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Originally Posted by Rey73 View Post
Well, I think the best thing for Garrett Kelleher is to build a tower like the Fordham Spire tower or the 7 South Dearborn project. The new tower will be a mixed-use, with a hotel that occupies the first 60-70 floors and apartments for remaining floors. I believe that it would will be more economically feasible than a 150 apartment floors tower.

Fordham Spire tower - 124 floors - 1600ft roof - 2000ft spire

7 South Dearborn tower - 112 floors - 1,567ft roof - 2000ft spire

image hosted on flickr
I imagine something like the old 7 South Dearborn design would be more cost-effective than two shorter towers. Why? A single tall building with a circular footprint might be able to take advantage of the already-installed core caissons and "super caissons" that were installed as perimeter supports for the Spire. All the groundwork is done for one extremely tall cylindrical tower positioned in the center of the site. And it cost a LOT of cash to do it - somewhere around $100 million I believe. Furthermore, I believe that deep walls surrounding the site have already been installed to enable 7 levels of underground parking. It would be senseless not to take advantage of all that subterranean concrete work.

That being said, the Calatrava design is not feasible in the "new normal" climate. Eliminating the twisting floorplates and shortening the tower would save hundreds of millions of dollars and seems like a must. It could be built with a flat roof at 1500 feet, with a spire to bring it up to 2000 feet, making it the country's tallest building.
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Old November 17th, 2013, 11:41 PM   #9747
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That's not the way bussiness works. If they come to the conclusion that building the Spire is economically feasible (an unlikely scenario IMO) then they will build it. If building a smaller tower is the feasible option, then they will go for it.

The foundation is only a fraction of the building cost, the fact that is completed (is it really completed?) would be an asset whatever they build the original project or a reduced one, since it is already done, but it wont be considered a "waste" not to build the original project, the waste would be building an economically unfeasible building, or make the site dormant (and paying taxes) for decades just waiting for a time, that may or may not happen, when the project would be economically feasible.

Just look at that other project, Waterview, later turned to 111 West Wacker with a cut of over 100 meters on the project, and that building not only had the fundations completed, but more than 20 stories done, and yet, they didnt followed the original project because no longer make sense economically.
Nobody wants to be the guy who built something mediocre in one of the most desirable plots in Chicago. And I'm talking purely from a financial standing.

Chicago's economic future is so easily changed that predicting things two years out, let alone twenty, is basically impossible.

Look at how finely tuned NYC was. Nothing interesting for decades, then in the space of a few years, seven or eight supertalls get approved and the World Trade Center finally gets off its ass.

Any number of economic variables could swing Chicago overnight. For example: if the US ever gets around to doing something about high speed rail, then that entire network goes through Chicago and suddenly you have an explosion of new projects going up. That's what happened to London a few years ago, and Moscow before that.

Imagine being the developer who tops out a 40 storey mixed-use building on the Spire site just as Chicago enters a boom. Not only do you have egg on your face, but anyone remotely interested in the properties/leases has just read about a tower twice as tall going up in the south loop and decided to change their plans. So unless you waited for an anchor tenant and wrapped everything up before a single stone was laid, you are royally screwed.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 12:09 AM   #9748
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I wonder why such a really great city like Chicago is having such problems with real estate market? What the hell is the problem there? No jobs? politics?

Real estate should be HOT there, big time! Instead it is like a dying patient on breathing machine.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #9749
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I wonder the same thing as well.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 02:22 AM   #9750
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I want this back nowwwwwwwwwwwww!
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Old November 18th, 2013, 04:13 AM   #9751
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I wonder why such a really great city like Chicago is having such problems with real estate market? What the hell is the problem there? No jobs? politics?

Real estate should be HOT there, big time! Instead it is like a dying patient on breathing machine.
Chicago and the state of Illinois have HUGE budget problems. And I mean problems that make Detroit's situation pale in comparison. There's one-party Democrat rule and the politicians are totally beholden to the various public-sector unions, whose pension obligations have brought the city and the entire state to the verge of bankruptcy. And no one in Springfield has the courage to do anything about it. Fiscally, Illinois is the worst basket case in the country - and that includes California.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 05:39 AM   #9752
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This brings back memories.

Get ready for lots of off topic posts, briggings, and bannings. Oh goody!
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Old November 18th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #9753
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Chicago and the state of Illinois have HUGE budget problems. And I mean problems that make Detroit's situation pale in comparison. There's one-party Democrat rule and the politicians are totally beholden to the various public-sector unions, whose pension obligations have brought the city and the entire state to the verge of bankruptcy. And no one in Springfield has the courage to do anything about it. Fiscally, Illinois is the worst basket case in the country - and that includes California.
are you telling me that no one has any way out of this? besides one thing is the city government of Chicago and another private developers. Why developers stay away from Chicago?

I mean after getting to understand all the politics in NYC with years and years of negotiations I can get the problem, but it seems that Chicago is really getting worse instead of better. And if the population knows about the problems with democrats, why in God's name they keep electing them?
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Old November 18th, 2013, 06:09 AM   #9754
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are you telling me that no one has any way out of this? besides one thing is the city government of Chicago and another private developers. Why developers stay away from Chicago?

I mean after getting to understand all the politics in NYC with years and years of negotiations I can get the problem, but it seems that Chicago is really getting worse instead of better. And if the population knows about the problems with democrats, why in God's name they keep electing them?
Anyone in the Chicago area with conservative or Republican leanings has long since moved to the collar counties. Remember, Chicago has lost over 900,000 people off its peak population in the late 1950s. In fact, it's second in the country only to Detroit in raw population loss - and it's NOT a distant second.

It's not as if no one is aware of the problem, but they all think everyone else but themselves is to blame and should pay for it. It's not like no one saw the writing on the wall in Detroit either, but everyone there was similarly entrenched in their own self-interest, unwilling to budge, with the government hopeless to do anything but wait for the inevitable collapse. I do believe Chicago is headed the same way.

In the last decade, Chicago lost close to 200,000 people. Yet the recent fight to close a relative handful of public schools - because they were obviously no longer needed - was a protracted and contentious political fight, with everyone involved battling to protect their turf regardless of the cost. The top-to-bottom systemic restructuring necessary to put the city on a firm foundation for the future would be 1000 times harder than this. No one has the stomach for it.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 06:51 AM   #9755
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Chicago will not go the way of Detroit. Its economy is too diversified for that to happen. Prolonged (decade+) stagnation is what people should really be worried about. The central portion of the city is attractive to the young middle class and wealthier people, but the high tax rates and atrocious management by the Democrat run Chicago political machine makes living in the city a non-option for countless middle class and working class families. These families are the lifeblood of the city's tax revenue and their absence is one of the primary causes of the horrific financial situation of the city.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 07:37 AM   #9756
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Let's keep to the topic.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 05:24 PM   #9757
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Let's keep to the topic.
When discussing a proposed supertall - especially one that has already been cancelled once due to economic conditions - isn't the possibility of it actually getting built on topic? This discussion should include the financial health of the city, the market for the building, the seriousness and competency of the developer, zoning and other political issues.

Remember we're talking about Chicago here, where supertalls are proposed by the dozens every decade and only one has been built in the past 40 years. Skepticism is required.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 05:27 PM   #9758
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When discussing a proposed supertall - especially one that has already been cancelled once due to economic conditions - isn't the possibility of it actually getting built on topic? This discussion should include the financial health of the city, the market for the building, the seriousness and competency of the developer, zoning and other political issues.

Remember we're talking about Chicago here, where supertalls are proposed by the dozens every decade and only one has been built in the past 40 years. Skepticism is required.
Sure, but it doesn't have to be withering and suffocating. We should be allowed to have some fun.
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Old November 18th, 2013, 06:20 PM   #9759
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Thanks HarryC, Our SSC Family Friend, Yes !! This Chicago Spire is back from The Dead ( On Hold ) Over 4 Years ago, But , It Can Be Built Now with the Foundation Still There, And there's a Future for this Tower at 2,000 feet , Don't Matter How many Floors it is, IMO , Our SSC Family Friends, It will be Rising By 2025 !! Hopefully Sooner, But I , IMOgive it till 2030 to Be Completed and Open !!
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Wow, Thanks Again HarryC, Our SSC Family Photo Friend, Its going to be Built IMO , by at least 2025 !! and Will be the Tallest Tower in North America !!
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Old November 18th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #9760
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When discussing a proposed supertall - especially one that has already been cancelled once due to economic conditions - isn't the possibility of it actually getting built on topic? This discussion should include the financial health of the city, the market for the building, the seriousness and competency of the developer, zoning and other political issues.

Remember we're talking about Chicago here, where supertalls are proposed by the dozens every decade and only one has been built in the past 40 years. Skepticism is required.
When that discussion begins to veer into politics which derails threads, then it needs to be reeled in. My job is to respond to reported posts here. And I will add that the fiscal or economic health of a city does not necessarily disqualify plans for towers. There are many cities in excellent fiscal and economic health that see few new towers of any scale nor will ever see a supertall built and there are cities like Detroit which in spite of all their problems, are seeing new towers developed (in the case of Detroit, not a tall tower, but still...). There are numerous tall towers in development in Chicago right now so already your thesis of a city in distress hindering new towers holds little weight.

The Spire has its own set of difficult challenges far apart from Chicago's situation. It's a Calatrava laden with high costs that would require very expensive unit prices to cover. The Chicago market in the best of times could barely sustain such high prices unless the city can attract that global echelon of buyers at the highest level. Maybe it can, maybe it can't. That for me would be the question. And for these buyers, the death of Charlie Trotter may be more impactful than the state of the city's public schools. The Spire's cancellation also was a direct outgrowth of the property collapse in Ireland where Shelbourne had greatly overextended itself as they built expensive apartments in the mad rush of escalating property prices. The problems over there made Kelleher toxic to lenders and potential partners here. That said, had he been able to make his payments anyway, he might have eventually found a partner in the private equity or sovereign wealth space like so many developers of upper end towers are doing.
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