Wednesday 24 October 2018

Irish developer to build $1.2bn Chicago tower

Tom Lyons

IRISH developer Garrett Kelleher plans to build the tallest building in the United States at a cost of $1.2bn (?950m). The 2,000ft high tower in Chigaco (including its spire/antennae) is on a 2.2-acre site on the banks of the Chicago River. The tower was designed by award-winning architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava. A five-star hotel and about 300 apartments are planned for the building.

IRISH developer Garrett Kelleher plans to build the tallest building in the United States at a cost of $1.2bn (?950m).

The 2,000ft high tower in Chigaco (including its spire/antennae) is on a 2.2-acre site on the banks of the Chicago River.

The tower was designed by award-winning architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava.

Each of the building's 124 floors are rotated about two degrees from the one below, it giving it a unique swirling appearance.

A 150-room five-star hotel and about 300 apartments (worth up to $5m each) are planned for the ambitious tower, which measures 1,570ft to its roof.

Mr Kelleher's Shelbourne Development spent $64m this week acquiring the almost 1m square foot building project from Chicago-based LR Development Company.

Local developer Christopher T Carley, chief executive of Chicago-based Fordham Co, who initiated the project and got it zoning, has as a result exited the development.

Originally Mr Carley estimated the building would cost $600m.

Construction on the new project, which is being backed by Anglo Irish Bank, is expected to begin in early 2007 with a completion date of the end of 2010.

The project's working title is "400 North Lake Shore Drive" after its location.

Colourful businessman Donald Trump, who is constructing a rival and substantially shorter 1,000ft tower nearby, was less than enthusiastic about the project however.

"It's a Grade C location and not financially feasible because the total condominium sellout couldn't be more than $900m," Mr Trump told the 'Chicago Tribune' yesterday.

Dublin-based Kelleher, however, is very familiar with the Chicago market, having lived there for 10 years before returning to Ireland in 1996. "I'm excited to have an opportunity to contribute to the Chicago skyline," he said. With Shelbourne Developments, the developer has almost $2bn worth of projects in Dublin.

Successful redevelopments include the former Department of Justice building on St Stephen's Green, the former Irish Press building on Burgh Quay and the former Virgin Megastore.

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