The Chicago Spire – What Will Be Its Fate?

July 03, 2009
Chicago Spire

Chicago Spire

I was so excited hear about this new 2000 foot tall tower, proposed and approved by the city at the mouth of the Chicago River.  The design is said to have inspired architect Santiago Calatrava by the thought of Native American’s camping at the site, having a fire and the resulting smoke spiraling upward.  One must wonder if the Spire’s fate and future will be similar to its inspiration: up in smoke.

Construction began in June of 2007 with the digging and pouring of the many caissons needed to anchor the foundation to the bedrock below.  Reportedly sales had reached to 350 of the nearly 1200 residential condominium units in late summer of 2008.  The penthouse at an altitude of 1900 plus feet was sold in September 2008 to Ty Warner, founder of the Beanie Babies empire.  Soon after, Shelbourne Development announced that due to the global financial crisis, it would cease construction above ground and complete the Spire’s foundation and wait until the housing market improved.

When the Chicago Spire was announced in 2005, it was originally was called the Fordham Spire after then developer Christopher T. Carley of the Fordham Company.   When Fordham failed to generate the necessary financing, Irishman Garrett Kelleher of the Shelbourne Development Group purchased the project and began marketing it as the Chicago Spire.

While the housing market continues to languish, the viability of this tower seems to be a thing of the past.  Should market conditions turn to resurrect the building’s construction, it will no doubt be an iconic sight along the banks of the Chicago River and Ogden slip.  In an already famous skyline, it will be an anchor to the Streeterville neighborhood and should it be built, stand more than 550 feet taller than the South Loop’s Sears Tower.  Note: Chicagoland Real Estate Forum does not recognize the Sears Tower’s supposed newly named ‘Willis Tower’… 🙂

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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