Archive for the ‘Buildings’ Category

River North’s Staybridge Suites in another legal battle as foreclosure looms.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on May 24, 2010

Take a look at Crain’s Chicago Business’ article about our poor Staybridge Suites hotel that has sat as an empty 16 story shell for nearly two years.  Wow, time flies.

Investors battle lender on stalled Miglin hotel

127 W. Huron. Photo from CoStar Group Inc.
By: Alby Gallun May 19, 2010

(Crain’s) — Chicago developer Duke Miglin and an Irish group he recruited to invest in his stalled River North hotel project are striking back at the lender trying to foreclose on the property, now just a 16-story concrete shell draped in canvas.

Mr. Miglin and his prospective partner allege that the lender, CapitalSource Finance LLC, reneged on an agreement to recapitalize and restart the planned Staybridge Suites hotel at 127 W. Huron St., which has been idle for nearly two years.

A venture financed by the Irish investors filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month to force CapitalSource to return a $1-million deposit from the venture that would have gone toward the aborted recapitalization.

It is the latest salvo in the dispute over the failed 216-room hotel development, which was launched at the peak of the hotel boom but is now just another symbol of the bust. CapitalSource, which provided a $43.1-million construction loan for the project, filed a foreclosure suit in October 2008 alleging that a venture led by Mr. Miglin failed to put up an additional $5.9 million to finance the hotel as required under the loan agreement….

Click HERE to look at the full Crain’s Chicago Business article.

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GREEN ROOF ALERT! 901 W. Madison in the West Loop goes the green route!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on May 22, 2010

I was up on the roof of 901 W. Madison in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood and the first thing I noticed was the building’s green roof!  Figured that a lot of people don’t see a green roof up close so I made sure to take a closeup photo.

Do you know of any other good green roofs that I could get access too or that you have photos of?

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One more Cabrini Green highrise demolished. Watch the YouTube video.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on February 25, 2010

Randomly came across this blog and video from True/Slant.  Located at 660 W. Division Street, one of the last three remaining white Cabrini Green highrises has been completely demolished and all that remains is a pile of rubble waiting to be scooped up.  The blogger has a friend who lives across the street and that person was nice enough…and thoughtful enough to compose a time-lapse video of the building’s demise. 

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Big losses for those involved with The Chicago Spire…no surprises here.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on February 23, 2010

Spire affiliate reports big loss linked to stalled tower

By Eddie Baeb and Thomas A. Corfman, Feb. 03, 2010

(Crain’s) — A Dublin-based affiliate of Chicago Spire developer Garrett Kelleher reported a $207.6-million annual loss, much of which is attributed to the stalled Spire project.

Clarinabbey Ltd. says in an annual financial report filed last week in Ireland that the company took a loss provision against loans made to other companies led by Mr. Kelleher – including one that’s been a major financing vehicle for the Spire. Clarinabbey says the provision stems from “uncertainty associated with the recoverability of amounts owed by group companies.”

Financial results were reported in Euros and converted to U.S. dollars.

The Spire project, a twisting, 1,194-unit condominium tower at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive that would have been the tallest building in the United States, may account for at least $135 million of the $197.7-million loss provision, based on a previous filing by Shelbourne Finance Ltd., which is the entity pegged to the provision in Clarinabbey’s filing.

Shelbourne Finance has previously said the firm provided an interest-free loan of $38.2 million to a Spire-related entity and separately advanced the project $96.8 million, according to its 2008 annual report, the most recent available.

Clarinabbey, whose majority owner is Mr. Kelleher, reported last week that it is “technically in breach” on loan-to-value and interest-coverage covenants with its lenders, a group that includes the now-nationalized Anglo Irish Bank Corp., along with Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and Bank of Scotland (Ireland) Ltd.

Clarinabbey says it’s working to negotiate a standstill agreement with the banks or a restructuring of its loans, but that “there exists a fundamental uncertainty over the company’s ability to meet its obligations as and when they fall due.”

The financial reports were filed with the Companies Registration Office in Ireland.

Calls to spokeswomen for Shelbourne and a voicemail left at the firm’s Chicago office on Wacker Drive weren’t returned.

Clarinabbey reported the $207.6-million loss for the period ended March 31, 2009.

Wow.  To read the full article, click HERE!

Photo courtesy of

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RD+659. Slow sales change to success. Only 1 home left for sale in this West Loop building!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on February 5, 2010

Some of you may know of RD+659, a highrise condo building located at 659 W. Randolph Street in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.  About a year ago, rumors were swirling about RD+659’s condos turning into rental apartments, or that the condos would see price cuts.  Well, they’re still condos but the developers brought in @properties to help sell out the building and boy, did it work.  Because of smart price reductions, sales have skyrocketed and now, only 1…yes 1 condo remains!

RD+659’s only remaining home is a 2Bed/2Bath condo with unobstructed Southern exposure, $15,000 worth of upgrades and an extra wide parking spot, all for $371,000. 

RD+659’s building amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, roof deck, fitness center, bike room, heated parking, dry cleaners, and a 24 hour doorperson.  The assessments are $460/month and it includes EVERYTHING you would need…all in one payment.  Your water, electricity, gas, cable, internet, air conditioning, and all of the building amenities.  Just think of how much all of these would cost you if you paid each seperately. 

Check out the RD+659 website and if you have any questions about the remaining home, just ask me!  Photos courtesy of the RD’s website also.

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Village Green seeking TIF money to redevelop a historic Loop highrise!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 17, 2010

I really really hope this building gets started soon.  I have a friend who lives in another Village Green rental building and let me tell you that they did an amazing job with the apartments and I’m confident that Village Green will do the same for 188 W. Randolph.  Now I just gotta try to get in to one of those below market rent apartments!

Tower seeks public financing

20% of landmark would be set aside as lower-rent units

January 13, 2010


Partially masked by nets and scaffolding for months, the Jazz Age skyscraper at 188 W. Randolph looks like a wounded veteran of the real estate crash. To restart its renovation, the owners are in hot pursuit of public financing.

Apartment builder Village Green Cos. has asked the Illinois Housing Development Authority to issue tax-free bonds on its behalf. And City Hall has begun to move on Village Green’s request to establish a tax-increment financing district that could help the project.

The 188 W. Randolph building, known in its early life as the Steuben Club Building, is remembered more recently for its falling terra-cotta. Village Green, which bought the building out of bankruptcy for $10 million in 2005, fixed the worst of it and put up the scaffolding to protect pedestrians. But the richly ornamented terra-cotta is what makes the building special and contributes to its status as a Chicago landmark.

Kenneth Barnes, senior vice president for development at Village Green, said public support is justified by the historic preservation.

Twenty percent of the apartments would be set aside at below-market rents, calculated as affordable for families with 50 percent of the city’s median income.

The office building would be converted to 310 apartments, Barnes said. Village Green will occupy lower-floor commercial space, turning it into its Chicago regional office….

Check out the full Chicago Sun Times article by clicking HERE!

Posted in Buildings, Historic Restoration, Renovation/Restoration, Rental Building, The Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Drastic price reductions at Belgravia Group’s 565 Quincy condos and lofts!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 16, 2010

Belgravia Group held out for as long as they could but their amazing condo/loft high rise, 565 Quincy, is now having to reduce prices by 15-30%!  With around 50% of the homes sold, this is what 565 Quincy needs for a big boost in sales.  Teaming up with Belgravia Group’s sales team is @properties who is also helping with sales.  I can’t wait to bring future clients there because 565 Quincy is an awesome building.

565 Quincy, located at 565 W. Quincy Street in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, is split almost in half with the lower half converted from an old seven story office building into lofts.  The top 11 floors are newly constructed condos with some amazing views.  Some amenities include work out facilities, a movie screening room, pool tables, foosball, putting green, and even a two lane bowling alley.  The eighth floor also includes an awesome roof deck!

Check out the quick article on the price drops on the Chicago Sun Times website by clicking HERE!

For any questions,  contact the 565 Quincy Sales Center by calling 312-207-0007 or stop in for a visit every day of the week between 10-6PM.

Posted in @properties, Belgravia Group, Buildings, Real Estate, West Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Union funds meant to finance The Chicago Spire construction now kaput.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on December 29, 2009

From this week’s In Other News

Chicago Spire twists in wind as union funds pass on bailout loan

By: Eddie Baeb December 21, 2009

Officials at four big investment funds affiliated with labor unions say they’re not interested in rescuing the stalled Chicago Spire project.

Recent reports that Spire developer Garrett Kelleher and union officials are discussing a possible loan rekindled hope that work would resume on the twisting tower, which at 150 stories would be North America’s tallest building.

But two union funds identified by a local labor leader and a Spire spokeswoman as having expressed interest, the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust and the union-backed life insurer ULLICO Inc., are taking a pass, according to top executives there. Representatives of two others, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and the Multi-Employer Property Trust, say the Spire isn’t a suitable investment for them.

“It’s not something we’re able to do,” says Edward Smith, president of ULLICO. “Unfortunately, these are just very difficult markets.”

Another union fund or group of funds still could step forward with a loan for the project. Mr. Kelleher also could secure funding from other sources. But the lack of interest from the four big funds narrows the Irish developer’s options as he seeks a financial lifeline for the Spire.

They’re among the largest funds of their kind, controlling about $13 billion in union pension funds and other assets. They also have a history of commercial real estate investing here and around the country, and an interest in backing projects that create jobs for union workers.

Worries about the prospects of the Spire in a moribund real estate market appear to have trumped their desire to help put union members back to work. The funds are no more eager than other real estate investors to risk money on a highly speculative project in the worst downturn in recent memory.

Mr. Kelleher seeks about $170 million in short-term financing to pay off existing debt and move the project forward. It would be a particularly risky loan because the most likely source of funds for repayment would be a construction loan for the $1-billion-plus project. Construction lenders typically advance funds only after a developer sells 50% of the units in a condominium project. After two years of worldwide marketing efforts, Mr. Kelleher has sold about 30% of the Spire’s 1,194 units.

In essence, Mr. Kelleher is asking the union funds to bet on his ability to sell condos in a stagnant downtown housing market, where mortgage and construction financing is hard to come by.

Michael Arnold, head of investor relations for the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, says his fund can’t take that risk. “We would obviously like to be helpful,” he says. “We understand the interest, but we’re not any different than other real estate lenders today.”

Thomas Villanova, president of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, hopes union fund managers will consider not only financial risk but also the job-creating benefits of the project.

“This just can’t be looked at in a straight investment-type view. You’ve got to add into the equation this would be 7.5 million man-hours for my members,” Mr. Villanova says. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen times as bad as they are now.”

Mr. Villanova organized a meeting in the spring between Mr. Kelleher’s company, Shelbourne Development Group Inc., and representatives of the 24 local unions that comprise his group. He says some local union officials met with Shelbourne again, but he can’t recall which ones.

More recently, Mr. Villanova arranged a meeting on Nov. 30 between Shelbourne and Mark Ayers, a Washington, D.C.-based union leader who’s a board member with ULLICO and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust. Mr. Ayers didn’t return calls….

Check out the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

Photo courtesy of Crain’s Chicago Business

Posted in Buildings, Chicago Spire, Construction, News Articles, Streeterville | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My own visions for Roosevelt University’s new high rise in downtown Chicago

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on November 29, 2009

What do you think?  After eating for an entire day, I was sitting bored and trying not to give in to the tryptophan so I did a little editing for Roosevelt University’s new proposed dormitory and educational building, located at 425 S. Wabash Avenue in Chicago’s Loop.




Posted in Buildings, Education, Polls, Proposed Developments, The Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Roosevelt University to construct 32 story building. 2nd tallest in United States!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on November 28, 2009

Roosevelt University to Build 32-Story Vertical Campus for Academics, Student Life and Housing

Roosevelt University will begin construction in February on a dramatic skyscraper that will be the second tallest university building in the nation.

The University’s new vertical campus will be sleek and contemporary, featuring a glass exterior, undulating shape, views of Lake Michigan and connections in four locations with the University’s landmark Auditorium Building.  A groundbreaking ceremony for the project is planned for April.

Designed with open spaces that will make the building feel like a series of neighborhoods, the structure will be a “green” building, drawing in natural light and cutting energy costs, and will be one of the few skyscrapers in Chicago that is LEED certified.

The 32-story multi-purpose building will be located at 425 S. Wabash Avenue in Chicago on the site of the University’s old Herman Crown Center, which is currently being demolished.

The structure will have classrooms, lecture halls, state-of-the-art science labs, conference space, a dining center, a student recreation center, residence suites for more than 600 students, offices and space for the Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration.

The new facility is needed for increasing numbers of full-time students who are taking more credit hours than ever before at the Chicago Campus. The University is projecting full-time equivalency enrollments will continue to rise significantly through 2017. The building will increase classroom capacity by 40 percent at the Chicago Campus and will pave the way for centralization of student services and new facilities for growing numbers of student-life organizations.

“This is the most important development in the University’s history since the Auditorium Building was acquired in 1946,” said Roosevelt University President Chuck Middleton. “We are building the quintessential 21st Century university structure and it’s going to give us a dramatic new image on Chicago’s skyline….”

Check out the full article by clicking HERE!  Photos courtesy of Roosevelt University’s website!

Image: South View  Image: Front View

Image: Street View  Image: Across the Street View

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