December 7, 2006 – “It’s financial suicide,” says Donald Trump of the updated design for Santiago Calatrava’s 2,500-unit Spire in Lakeshore East on this date. Responding to the criticism, James Loewenberg of Magellan Development LLC says, “It’s a great project if they can pull off the numbers.” [Chicago Tribune, Decmber 8, 2006] One of Magellan’s own buildings near Millennium Park has units selling for $350 to $650 a square foot. The Spire at this point has sold 1,300 units for at least $1,000 a square foot. The new design for the Spire will maintain the 2,000-foot height, but it will take the building to 160 stories rather than the 115 originally projected with seven levels of underground parking. Gail Lissner, vice-president of Appraisal Research Counselors, loks at the project’s future by saying, “This could be a very long sellout unless they find other buyers nationally and internationally. Clearly, the Chicago market would have a great deal of difficulty absorbing them.” With a half-dozen high-end condominium projects currently under construction, the road will be a difficult one for the tall tower at the river’s mouth. Loewenberg says, “It will be a struggle, and only those with the best location and product will survive.” The Spire had a great location and an exceptional product, but really bad timing. As the real estate market collapsed in 2007, the project died as the economy cratered.