Eavesdrop> From architectural zombie to cash cow: Stalled Chicago development site pays off big

(Kevin Zolkiewicz / Flickr)

(Kevin Zolkiewicz / Flickr)

 

Most developers did some serious belt-tightening during the recession, but news of a record-breaking real estate deal from late last year proves it sometimes pays to take a little risk. Related Midwest bought the concrete podium of an aborted development at Chicago‘s 111 West Wacker Drive in 2011, after plans for a Shangri-La hotel there went up in smoke. Chicago-based real estate investment firm Heitman reportedly paid roughly $333 million for the luxury rental building Related finished last summer, OneEleven. That’s about $661,000 per unit—a new high for a downtown apartment sale. This high-rise zombie lives, and it’s apparently very lucrative.

Stalled Wacker Drive Development Breaks Ground Once More

Midwest
Friday, November 2, 2012
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Developers, construction workers, and 42nd ward ald. Brendan Reilly break "ground" on the 28th floor of the Waterview Tower. (Chris Bentley / The Architect's Newspaper)

Developers, construction workers, and 42nd ward ald. Brendan Reilly break “ground” on the 28th floor of the Waterview Tower. (Chris Bentley / The Architect’s Newspaper)

For years Chicago’s celebrated architectural boat tour has started its journey at 111 W. Wacker, a 28-story symbol of the great recession and stalled real estate development. Now they are one step closer to a launch more fit for neck-craning. Construction workers broke ground Thursday on the dormant project once again, reviving the high-rise once intended as the first Shangri-La Hotel in the United States.

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