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CHICAGO-With Christopher T. Carley’s Fordham Spire plan falling short of sufficient financing, the opportunity was ripe for Garrett Kelleher, executive chairman of Dublin, Ireland-based Shelbourne Development Ltd. & the Shelbourne Group, to acquire the land and fund the development at 400 N. Lake Shore Dr.

Tom Murphy of Thomas J. Murphy, PC, general counsel for Kelleher, says the developer purchased the land for $65 million following Carley’s inability to close by Monday. As far as Carley’s role in the development moving forward, Murphy tells GlobeSt.com that “any future relationships will have to be negotiated to see what people may or may not play out.” Murphy could not speculate on Carley’s response to the turn of events, and calls to the Fordham Co. were not returned by press time.

The site, located at the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago River, has already been granted zoning approval by the city for a 124-story residential and hotel tower, thanks to Carley’s original efforts. In keeping with the project’s original design by architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the tower will measure approximately 2,000 feet to the top of the tower including spires/antennae and 1,570 feet to the roof.

“Mr. Kelleher is intensely interested in the US market and intends to market this project internationally,” Murphy tells GlobeSt.com. “He is interested in all the rights that have accrued the land, and that’s why he purchased it. Anything he would do in the future is to enhance the development; the specifics still have to be negotiated.”

The 920,000-sf structure will surpass the Sears Tower and Toronto’s CN Tower, making it the tallest freestanding building in North America and Europe. The development will include 300 luxury condominium residences, ranging from $600,000 to $5 million, and a five-star, 20-story hotel. Additionally, 50,000 sf of retail and support space is planned for the floors overlooking the river and Lake Michigan. Construction is expected to start in early 2007, with completion slated for late 2010.

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