This all came as a total surprise to me because I stopped paying attention to this condo development a long time ago. Shelbourne has been unable to find financing for this project and even got so desperate that they tried to convince union pension funds to invest in the project under the premise that it would create union jobs. Fortunately, the unions were smarter than that. They recognize that Chicago needs another condo development like we need a hole in the ground (uhhh, wait…..we have one of those). The unsold condos in the Spire represent about 20% of the total downtown unsold condo inventory. So who in their right mind is going to finance this project and how can you sell something that you can’t build? And these developers think they’re smart.
Speaking of the hole…The Chicago Architectural Club announced a winner to their contest for ideas on what to do with the hole. The winning idea involved transforming the area around the hole into a beach and launching a yellow hot air balloon (representing the sun) that would carry a circular swimming pool. That idea probably has a better chance of coming to fruition than the original plan and is far more practical.