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CHICAGO-Magellan Development Group is expected to start construction within the next month on the $474-million, mixed-use Aqua tower at Lakeshore East. Construction financing was recently arranged for the 2.2-million-sf project. The New York branch of Eurohypo AG, LaSalle Bank and National City Bank have arranged a $427-million construction loan with a $24-million mezzanine loan provided by Lehman Bros. and developer Magellan development group providing $24 million in equity. The loans are scheduled to close March 1, Magellan president David Carlins says.

Construction is expected to begin as soon the developer receives the final building permit, which should be within a few weeks, Carlins says. The tower, expected to be compete by the middle of 2009, is a development of Lakeshore East LLC, an affiliate of Magellan Development Group LLC. The 81-story building will feature condominiums, apartments, an 18-floor hotel, retail and office space.

The project will combine condominiums, apartments, a hotel and retail into one building. The mixture allows condominiums to start on the 53rd floor. Amenities will include indoor and outdoor 25-yard lap pools, an outdoor wading pool, a track, fire pits, hot tubs, a spa section, weight rooms and a theater component.

The Aqua building is part of Magellan’s 28-acre Lakeshore East development across North Columbus Drive and adjacent to the Strategic Hotels’ Fairmont Chicago property. Strategic is a partner at Aqua, and will include between 210 and 225 hotel suites, averaging 650 sf each, and will connect to the Fairmont. The hotel portion of Aqua will also consist of a 20,000-sf glazed ballroom with outdoor terrace space overlooking Lakeshore East Park, boardrooms and other general hotel support facilities.

About 80% of the condos have been presold, Carlins says. Magellan’s corporate office will occupy the 42,000 sf of office space in the building. Magellan is still in negotiations for the 37,000 sf of retail space. Negotiations are currently under way with restaurants and a national pharmacy, Carlins tells GlobeSt.com. Lease rates are also still being negotiated. Contracts should be signed in four to six months.

Studio/Gang/Architects is the design architect, headed by Jeanne Gang, with Loewenberg Architects serving as architect of record. James McHugh Construction Co. is the general contractor for the project.

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