AFL-CIO Still Working on Attempt to Revive Santiago Calatrava’s Chicago Spire


We, along with lots of other news outlets, have been calling Santiago Calatrava‘s Chicago Spire deceased for about six months now, but maybe we’ll all turn out to be wrong. Despite this summer’s announcement that the developer was being sued for defaulting on loans, which seemed like it was possibly the final nail in the coffin, there’s been a return to the story we told you about back in late March, that the AFL-CIO was thinking of stepping in to save the project in order to get more of its members back to work on a stable, likely multi-year project. There’s nothing too exciting about this newer announcement, because at this point it’s just still more talking to see if a deal can be made, but there has been the release of the specific numbers involved. We’re still skeptical that this building will ever see the light of day, but who knows. Calatrava was just given the go ahead in Dallas, so maybe his luck is changing. Here are some of the details from the AP:

The loan would pay off the estimated $64 million loan made by Anglo Irish Bank and satisfy various liens to firms that have worked on the Spire, including one by a firm associated with architect Santiago Calatrava, who stopped working on the project, claiming the developer owed him more than $11 million.

Tom Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, said the money would come from an AFL-CIO pension fund and Union Life Insurance Co., and perhaps pension funds from various locals.