Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blair Kamin on the Spire

He's right. It is a big hole in the ground. And the building plans do look much nicer, so much so that if the Chicago Spire doesn't get built here, it ought to be built somewhere. Garrett Kelleher's spokespeople claim that a GC will be hired soon to work on the above-ground stuff (details, details). The current plan is for a mid-2009 start. Call me cynical, but I wonder if some people are thinking mid-October 2009, since the IOC meets on October 2 to award the 2016 Olympics to some great city.

Another reason to wait a year: putting together a construction loan syndicate. Yes, Mr. Kelleher may be loaded, but he does not want to get into a Waterview Tower situation. You are better off with a hole in the ground for now, especially if you have cash to pay the interest on the A&D loan or finance it with your own cash. Halting construction here once you move up would be an unmitigated disaster.

And I'm not hearing much lately from Kelleher's lender of choice, Anglo-Irish Bank. Not sure whether they are on the sidelines or what. So a year gives everyone time to get more sales (a big must here), put together the loan and hope for the best. And I still sure hope this beautiful work rises from the hole.

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