Chicago Spire Construction Delayed

A sign of the times from GlobeSt.Com:  Construction of the high-profile Santiago Calatrava-designed and engineered Chicago Spire condominium tower has been postponed – a victim of the ongoing economic slowdown.  The building is still in its infrastructure-construction phase, with the neighborhood’s utilities undergoing updates to support the structure and its residents.  With work at a standstill, the building is a large circular hole that accommodates the recently completed foundation.

According to a spokeswoman for Dublin-based Shelbourne Development Group, Inc., construction of the 150-story tower will not restart until the economy improves.  “We are slowing the construction pace down to match the economy,” the spokeswoman said.  “The decision was made to do that because the markets have completely seized up.  When they are more fluid again, we will be in a very good position to move forward.”

Even with the construction halt, sales efforts are still underway.  To illustrate, Ty Warner, CEO and founder of the Beanie Baby company, Ty, Inc., recently closed on the two-story, 10,292 SF penthouse that had been listed at $40 million.

The Spire, which occupies a 2.2-acre site at 400 North Lake Shore Drive, has sold approximately 30 percent of its 1,194 units since marketing efforts began earlier this year.  Approximately half have been purchased by American buyers, with the rest snapped up by international investors.

The target date for completion and occupancy remain 2012, as originally planned.  Once completed, the building will be the largest residential tower in North America and Europe.  The estimated construction cost is $1.2 billion.