Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Since July 2005, the prospect of a new, massive addition to Chicago's skyline has been in the works. After several false starts, things are looking up for the newly christened Chicago Spire.

First, the staggering numbers:

Set to soar 2,000 feet into the sky, its 150 floors will provide an estimated floor space of 3,000,000 square feet which will be carved into 1,300 residential units. Official pricing has yet to be announced, but the developer implied that a starting price of $1,200 a square would not be far off. A subterranean garage will provide parking for 350 cars. There is also a rumor of a mysterious circular lap pool that would certainly provide mind blowing views of the city and the Lake.

If built as planned the Chicago Spire will be the second tallest building in the world (over 500 taller than the Sears Tower!) surpassed only by the Burj Dubai, and easily the tallest strictly residential building in the world.

Designed by Santiago Calatrava, who’s only other American structure is the stunning bird-like Milwaukee Art Museum, who drew inspiration from a snail shell to design the 7 cornered building which will twist 360 degrees from top to bottom, (how fucking cool is that?).

Donald Trump, who’s Trump International Hotel and Tower, is set to be, ahem, trumped, thinks the project will never be completed and that if it does come to fruition, would become a terrorist target. Charming fellow, that Donald is. Me thinks someone is a little jealous…

[Note: If you look closely at that rendering of the building you will not see Trump Tower, haha, fuck you Trump!]

Existing residents in the Streeterville neighborhood where the building site is located are understandably concerned about the prospect of increased traffic and sight line issues, but apparently were mostly placated by the architect’s well received presentation held yesterday, some of whom even waited around to get Calatrava’s autograph, (shit, I would have, the man is a rock star).

The project goes to go city hall on April 12 for approval, which should be little more than a rubber stamp process. The big “IF” is whether the developer can get financing for multi billion dollar project. Almost every single residential project, no matter how big or small must pre-sell a certain number of residences before any sane baker would approve the loan, a process which the developer, Garrett Kelleher is boldly forgoing. He has stated he intends on sinking caissons for the foundation sometime in the second quarter of this year.

I’m not sure what he’s smoking, but I would not mind standing down wind of him.

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