Donald Trump, in Chicago to talk with financial backers of his proposed hotel and condominium tower, said Thursday it could be as long as two months before final plans are agreed on for the spire that will determine the look and height of the top the building.
Drilling for the building's foundation caissons is under way, despite the remaining questions between Trump and City Hall.
Trump has been involved in protracted negotiations with the city about the look of the top of the building. Mayor Richard Daley has said he favors designs for the building that include a spire, and Trump recently agreed.
Questions remain on how high it will be. On Wednesday, the city said Trump has been in negotiation with Chicago officials about whether to add to the 1,125-foot design a spire tall enough to surpass the height of the 1,450-foot Sears Tower, perhaps by as much as 100 feet.
"I think we'll make a decision along with the representatives of the city and the mayor over the next 60 days as to whether or not we want to go to the extra height," Trump said Thursday at the construction site. "It will be a little bit different top. It builds up--not very much different--and the spire would be taller."
In addition to the decorative spire on top, two extra floors recently were added to the original plan without increasing the building's height. Building innovations in the design by the Chicago office of architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill eliminated the need to place concrete floor slabs atop steel beams.
If the city approves the new plans, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago would join the tallest buildings in the city, well above the 1,136-foot Aon Center and the 1,127-foot John Hancock Center.
It would be comparable in its vertical reach, if not scale, to the Sears Tower, the nation's tallest building. New York City's 1,250-foot Empire State Building is, after the Sears, the nation's runner-up.
Negotiations over the spire would have no effect on demolition and foundation work at the site where the Chicago Sun-Times building once stood at 401 N. Wabash Ave.
Some $600 million has been raised for the proposed $750 million, 92-story residential office tower, Trump said.
"The caissons are very beefy caissons," he said. "The caissons are enough to support whatever we put on top."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun