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Canyon Ranch to Build Spa Condo/Hotel Tower in Chicago

Posted: June 27, 2007

page 5 of 7

All this, of course, arrives just as the general real estate market is sagging. Plans for a third Canyon Ranch high-rise fell apart last year, when the market slowed in Washington, D.C. At the same time, ultra-luxe high-rises have begun to proliferate in downtown Chicago.

"It's a crowded market," said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors in Chicago, which tracks city condos. "There are many choices for these buyers."

She said about 1,700 units priced from $700 a square foot are under development in downtown Chicago, compared with the $375 to $400 a square foot average there, she said. A Canyon Ranch spokesman said its condos will average $900 to $1,100 a square foot.

Lissner said the sales pace in that upper bracket has been surprisingly steady.

"About 1,000 of those are under contract, and that leaves 700 units available," she said. "Of course, this doesn't include the Spire, which, when it begins marketing, would add more than 1,200 units."