Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Exquisite Corpses?

Duke Miglin Hotel
I can't believe that they'll be left this way, but right now there are an increasing number of skeletons piling up in Chicago's construction closet, courtesy of an imploding real estate market.

Crain's Chicago Business reported last week that work has ground to a halt - again - on 90-story Waterview Tower at Wacker and Dearborn. "Paperwork" - and the fact that everyone in China is apparently concentrating on the Olympics - is the reason being given for the delays in closing on a $340 million construction loan from the Export-Import of China, a deal that would also see developer Teng & Associates being replaced as general contractor by Beijing Construction. The Sun-Times' David Roeder reports that a "buy China" rule will be put into place for construction material when/if construction resumes.

Crain's also reported last week that construction has halted on the the Duke Miglin hotel, the Valerio Dewalt Train designed project formerly known as Staybridge. The innovative structure that represents the first use of staggered truss construction in Chicago was supposed to open this summer, but now all bets are off.

And then there's the Santiago Calatrava supertall, the Chicago Spire at Ogden slip. A year after they began, Case Foundation appears to have finished their work. According to The Spire's website, a "top-down" method of construction will be used to fill out the structure's buried parking garage, beginning with the building of the plaza level, including the lobby and the tension ring supporting the seven exterior columns. "Once plaza works have been completed, the engineers excavate a level below and create a stable surface for poured concrete. Further excavation work takes the building down another level - and another concrete slab is poured. The work is repeated for seven levels until the base of the foundation is reach. Work the core of the building can now begin."
Still, as can be seen from this photograph from our indefatigable correspondent Bob Johnson, the site looks preternaturally quiet. No general contractor has yet been named for the project's construction, and the announced 2010 completion date seems to be falling into the realm of fantasy.

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