Friday, November 9, 2007

Legal developments at the Spire

Here's an interesting twist (I know, bad pun on a Friday) to the Chicago Spire deal.

Apparently Shelbourne Development paid the neighboring condo association $500,000 for an easement across some of its land. The association claims it thought this was only to run utility lines, but apparently the plan was also to build some foundation in the easement area as well. And that plan, according to the story, might cause some adjacent townhomes to settle by two inches.

I have not looked at the easement agreement so I obviously cannot say whether Shelbourne had the right to do this. The association wants to say "never mind" and rescind the easement, and has retained Schiff Hardin to do so. If they pursue this it'll be interesting to see the legal theory under which they think the easement should be extinguished. Mistake? Fraud? We changed our minds after really thinking about it? (OK, not that one. But it really will be interesting to see where they go. They have good lawyers, that's for sure.)

Lastly, the foundation permit is revised to exclude the easement area, so we'll have to see whether that makes this go away. Although it is sometimes almost inevitable, having an angry condo association next door is never good for a developer.


Lisa Michelle Galley: said...

I guess one of the fun things about blogging is when you run across a story with the potential for lots of update posts over time.

I'll be looking forward to reading how this one evolves.

David Stejkowski said...

Lisa, yes, I do find it fun to follow up on some -- but not all -- stories. The Spire, if it is built, will be something to marvel for generations and I therefore think it deserve attention. Plus there was an interesting legal angle to this story. I'll keep writing if you keep reading!