Sunday 17 December 2017

Kelleher fights to reverse sale of Chicago Spire

Artist's rendering of the Chicago skyline as it would appear with the 150-story spire in the centre.
Artist's rendering of the Chicago skyline as it would appear with the 150-story spire in the centre.

Roisin Burke

DEVELOPER turned film mogul Garrett Kelleher is suing to get the sale of the Chicago Spire site to billionaire Stephen Ross reversed.

Nama last week closed sale of the loan to real-estate tycoon Ross's firm Related Midwest on what was to be the site of a Santiago Calatrava-designed block of skyscraper art and America's tallest building. Ross bagged the loan note for less than 50c in the dollar, it is understood.

An initial court date is set for tomorrow in the US.

"Garrett is shocked that it was sold at such a discounted value, given the site's potential," Kelleher's lawyer Tom Murphy told the Sunday Independent on Friday.

"He believes in the site and its potential."

The site has recently been valued far higher than the sharp loan slash price, he said.

Kelleher, who hoped to regain control of the project and see it through, put almost €154m of his own cash into the Spire venture, which stalled before it reached the build stage.

His firm borrowed €54m for the project, Kelleher's affidavit says. It also says he borrowed over €615m from Anglo Irish Bank for projects.

Kelleher's suit also claims a suspected miscalculation of interest on the loan. "He is doing a forensic examination of his loans," said his lawyer.

Nama said that it will defend any action vigorously.

Irish Independent

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