Danger or Dispute?

Architect Santiago Calatrava has filed a lien against developers of the Chicago Spire alleging that he has yet to be paid the $11.34 million for his work. Chicago architectural firm Perkins and Will—charged with local oversight of Calatrava's designs—has also filed a lien and is seeking $4.85 million in unpaid fees, according to reports in the Chicago Sun-Times. Dublin, Ireland-based Shelbourne Development spokesperson Kim Metcalfe told the Times that the liens reflect a contractual dispute and do not indicate that the project is in financial trouble. Superstructure construction on the Spire is scheduled to begin in mid-2009. Shelbourne has yet to name a general contractor for the project. —Chris Wood

One for the Books

Enterprise and Bart Harvey, former chairman and CEO of Enterprise Community Investment, shared the Urban Land Institute's 2008 J.C. Nichols Prize for visionaries in urban development. The $100,000 prize recognizes a person or a person representing an institution whose career demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of responsible development. Harvey played a critical role in the growth of Enterprise—during his tenure, Enterprise's commitment grew from $200 million supporting 5,000 affordable homes per year to more than $1 billion invested to create more than 20,000 units annually. “We've dispelled some myths about affordable housing,” Harvey said. “There is a critical role for rental housing in this country, and there are certain families that are just not ready to be homeowners. I'm very proud of the role Enterprise has played in affordable rental housing.” —Rachel Z. Azoff

Cash Is King

Multifamily firms Sterling America and Waterton Associates have joined other real estate owners in amassing cash to take advantage of opportunistic buys in the coming months. New York City-based Sterling America is currently seeking investors to partner up on a $500 million fund intended to take advantage of financially distressed real estate assets, particularly in the commercial and multifamily sectors. Sterling intends to put 30 percent of its own equity into the acquisition fund—its first since the company's $600 million SAP V fund closed in January 2007. Meanwhile, Chicago-based Waterton Associates just closed its 10th acquisition fund, a $225 million joint venture with the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). —Chris Wood