The stalled construction of North America's tallest building, a 150-story luxury residential tower planned for downtown, may get a boost from unionised construction workers desperate for jobs.

Any effort to save the Chicago Spire faces major hurdles, coming after a real-estate glut that flooded Chicago with new condos. Plans call for the 2,000-foot-high Spire to have nearly 1,200 units - more than are expected to be completed for the entire downtown area in 2010. Prices start at $750,000, with the bulk of the condos costing $2m to $15m.

Workers broke ground with great fanfare in 2007, but the project stalled last year amid the financial crisis when funding dried up. That left many doubtful that the Santiago Calatrava-designed tower would ever emerge from the circular foundation that sits about a block from Lake Michigan.

Wall Street Journal