It was Garrett Kelleher’s dream for the Chicago Lake Michigan shoreline, a 150-storey, 2,000 feet high corkscrew-shaped condo on a 2.2 acre site. Launched by Liam Neeson and Liam’s late wife Natasha Richardson, it is said that Garrett’s Shelbourne group has spent USD 200m on the project and there is little to show for all the money today apart from a large hole in the group intended to house the foundations of the giant tower.
But the site bought for USD 64m in 2006 never got past the planning and breaking the ground stages. NAMA took over the loans, and this week, it is being reported in the Chicago press that NAMA has confirmed that it has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle USA to sell the loan underpinning the site, which today has a par value of USD 93m after taking into account rolled up interest and penalties.
The betting locally is that the condo market is robust enough to generate demand for the loan.
There is an interesting background article here on the architect Santiago Calatrava’s vision for the tower.