Friday, October 17, 2008

Calatrava files a lien on the Spire....the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Grandpa will forgive me. He always liked computers. And I have this thing for writing about the Spire.

So, Calatrava and Perkins & Will have stopped their work on the building. (See also here, here, here and here.) If I were going to be the PR person, I'd say (as I have before), "Well, you have to do this in the ordinary course of business if you are providing work to the project in order to protect your rights against the property under the Illinois mechanics lien laws."

Here's the problem. Their PR people have said this, in addition to what I think they should: "“The amount will be disputed,” the spokeswoman says. “These liens, both of them, are sort of the normal course of business for these companies to protect themselves. That’s fully in their right to do that, and we will work to resolve them.”

That means there's more than a mere protection of rights here. There's a dispute. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out this is not great news at all. We know Calatrava and Shelbourne are not talking much. Of course, money can fix disputes, but another thought here is that, without your architects cooperating, you're not going to get very far.

So, is this project kaput? I'm not 100% convinced, optimist that I am, but the 2016 Olympics and a turn in the lending scenario might be the real best hopes for this project becoming more than a hole. And the Trumps must be delighted.