Second-tallest Chicago building proposed next to Tribune Tower
- Golub & Co., along with co-developer CIM Group, announced it intends to build a skyscraper that would be Chicago's second tallest, just 29 feet shorter than the Willis Tower, reported Bisnow.
- If approved by the city, the unnamed building will start going up next year in a parking lot adjacent to the 36-story Tribune Tower. CIM Group purchased the historic building in 2016, and laid out plans to spend an estimated $1 billion to convert the neo-Gothic property into a space for retail and residential units by 2020. Slated for approximately 125 condominiums, 439 rental apartments and a 200-room hotel, the tower would be three times taller than the Tribune.
- Some who attended the meeting to unveil the proposal questioned the viability of the costs and timeline related to the Tribune redevelopment and new skyscraper, The Chicago Tribune reported.
The likelihood that projects of this scope see the light of day is often called into question, according to the Tribune’s Ryan Ori. “Hitting deadlines is vital for developers of complicated, high-end projects,” Ori wrote in a April 17 column in the Chicago Tribune about the project. “Developers can hit the jackpot by completing construction during peak demand, but bad timing can have catastrophic results.”
Take the failed Chicago Spire, for example. The ambitious 116-story super-tall hotel-condominium building was proposed as the Fordham Spire in July 2005, spearheaded by the Fordham Co. It would have been the tallest tower in the U.S. at the time.
At the time of its proposal, the Chicago Spire faced opposition from many, including now-President Donald Trump, who was then a private citizen developing a tower in the same city. Despite the opposition, the project was approved.
But Fordham had problems financing construction early on, and Irish developer Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Shelbourne Development Group, eventually took over the project. The global financial crisis of 2008 and lawsuits related to financing wiped out any remaining hopes for the tower.
This February, the tower’s would-be developers filed a federal lawsuit, alleging they are owed $1.2 billion for their initial investment costs and unearned profits a completed tower would have yielded. In his complaint, Kelleher reportedly said that anyone who tries to build a “project of this dimension would be doomed.”