Disney venue to close. Calling into question the drawing power of entertainment centers in downtown locations, Walt Disney Co.'s "indoor interactive entertainment venue" in Chicago will close in September. The five-story, 90,000-sq.-ft. complex, located one block off fashionable Michigan Avenue, is part of the North Bridge development that includes a Nordstrom store. The high-tech video arcade opened in June 1999. Disney says DisneyQuest did not live up to its expected financial performance.
Houston flood losses in billions. Houston-area damage from June's tropical storm Allison has been estimated at a minimum of $5 billion. Because of the storm, Buffalo Bayou surged, flooding the city-owned home of the Houston Symphony, Jones Hall, and raising the issue of the building's structural integrity. Two basement levels of the Ally Theater also flooded.
Gehry to design office buildings. Renowned architect Frank Gehry, whose designs include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Experience Music Project in Seattle, has been hired by developer Rob Maguire to design at least four buildings in the long-delayed Playa Vista development near Los Angeles International Airport. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2002.
Trump trumpets Chicago project. Developer Donald Trump, best known for his high-profile projects in New York, came to Chicago last month to announce that he intends to build the world's tallest building in the Windy City. The multiuse tower, which could top out at 1,500 feet, would be constructed beside the Chicago River on a site now occupied by the low-rise Chicago Sun-Times Building. Trump reportedly has narrowed his search for an architect to three firms: Kohn Pedersen Fox, Lohan Associates and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.