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(Above) How architect Santiago Calatrava imagined his Chicago Spire would look from Lake Michigan. (Click on image to view larger version.)

29-Oct-19 – UPDATED – A settlement reached last Friday between developer Garrett Kelleher and an Irish banking agency could be the last word on the Chicago Spire, a 2,000-foot-tall residential building that in 2008 was being built along the Chicago River in Streeterville.

Kelleher says his project, started in 2006, was derailed in 2013 by National Asset Management Agency, which was created by the government of Ireland to acquire property development loans from Irish banks. He sued the agency in United States District Court in 2018, seeking $1.21 billion, but in March a federal judge in Chicago ruled the court lacked jurisdiction. Kelleher asked Judge Andrea Wood to reconsider and allow him to present the case to a Chicago jury.

Andrea Wood

On Wednesday, Judge Wood (left) granted a joint motion from parties to stop proceedings “in light of the parties’ agreement in principle to settle this matter subject to completing steps required in foreign jurisdictions.”

The loans to Kelleher that were acquired by National Asset Loan Management, a co-defendant in the lawsuit, were sold to RMW Acquisition Company, doing business as The Related Companies, for about $35 million.

Kelleher was being sued in Ireland by National Asset Loan Management over loans unrelated to the Chicago Spire that he had personally guaranteed. Though terms of the settlement were not disclosed, The Irish Times is reporting the settlement covers both Kelleher’s claim against National Asset Management Agency and National Asset Loan Management, and the National Asset Loan Management claim against him.

Judge Wood has ordered parties to submit a settlement progress report by January 10. A status hearing is scheduled for January 14.

A proposal by Related Midwest for two slender towers on the site was rejected by the city but the Chicago firm has until next February to revise its plan.

 Previous story: Decision in Chicago Spire lawsuit could be five weeks away