AFL-CIO May Bail Out Long Dormant Chicago Spire


Not everything is entirely gloomy in the world of designing and building big buildings. Remember Santiago Calatrava‘s Chicago Spire, which has now existed for quite some time as a big gaping hole? The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trusts have breathed some new life into the project that most had perceived as forever deceased, a memory forgotten as soon as that big hole got filled in. Now the union group is in talks with the developer to see if they might inject some badly needed funds into the project and start construction and planning back up again; the payoff being that the entire workforce would be union from top to bottom, as well as a nice thing to bring up in the bidding process should Chicago land the 2016 Olympics. Here’s a bit:

Discussions between the trusts and Irish developer Garrett Kelleher began in January, but the talks are in the “embryonic stage,” said Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building Trades Council, which represents 24 trades locally.

“The main thing is jobs,” Villanova said. “We can use our own funds to benefit members. The Spire is going to be five years of construction, which is just phenomenal for us. It’s thousands of jobs.”