Economy May Cripple Chicago Spire Project

Consultants file liens against world's tallest skyscraper
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2008 2:06 PM CDT
Italian architect Santiago Calatrava filed a lien against the Chicago Spire's developer, seeking more than $11.3 million in payment.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – The sputtering economy could topple plans to erect the nation’s tallest skyscraper, reports the Chicago Tribune. Consultants on the construction of the Chicago Spire have filed liens, with celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava seeking more than $11.3 million and a Chicago-based firm demanding $4.85 million. The developer’s spokesman acknowledged the economy’s effect on the project, calling the market “the 800-pound gorilla in the room.”

But “these guys have been paid well,” she added, insisting sales at the Spire, which would be one of the world’s tallest buildings, are going “very well.” More than 30% of its units have been sold. Along with the city’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, the Spire marks Chicago’s aspirations to become a global city.