Friday, February 27, 2009

Status Update: 465 North Park and the Waldorf=Astoria

How are things going along East Illinois Street where two massive projects are supposed to be underway? If you listen closely, you can hear crickets.

The front part of this lot, surrounded by the blue tarp fence is supposed to be 465 North Park Drive, a 57-story residential tower.  The back part, with all the cars parked on it, is supposed to be the new Waldorf=Astoria hotel.  Neither of them appear to be going anywhere, and with the lack of construction machinery or even an office trailer on site we don't expect much to happen this year.

Last year there was lots of work in the front (465) section.  Contractors were working on dealing with the soil, which like a lot of the dirt in the area, is contaminated with radioactive thorium from the old Lindsay Light factory that used to be here.  It sounds scarier than it is.  Remediating the soil before building a tower is S.O.P. for Streeterville and Lakeshore East.

As for the hotel?  You might want to bet on the Spire completing before you bet on the Waldorf=Astoria reaching 107 stories here in Chicago.  It's been hit with a double whammy: The mortgage came due and no a spade of earth ad been turned.  At the same time, DeStefano + Partners is suing the developer for $711,000 in unpaid feed for designing the building that looks nearly identical to one in China.

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