As the lure of urban living pulls more residents from the suburbs, developers are scooping up prime real estate in downtowns across the United States. Soaring property values have created opportunities for owners of an overlooked, underdeveloped asset: the surface parking lot. “From a landowner’s standpoint, values have increased tremendously over the last several years, and it’s a great time to capitalize on that,” said James D. Letchinger, founder and chief executive of JDL Development. His company is building a pair of skyscrapers on a parking lot, across from Holy Name Cathedral, that it bought from the Chicago archdiocese in 2017.
Waking up with the sunrise will be easy for residents in a luxurious condo tower under construction near Holy Name Cathedral. They can do it on their own schedule, because the bedroom lights will be programmed to fade up like a sunrise, and fade down like a sunset. The sales effort, already underway quietly, is ramping up this month, with Nancy Tassone of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty leading it. Ahead of that, Crain’s got a first walk-through of the sales center at 908 N. Halsted with Jim Letchinger, JDL’s principal.
In the 20th century, the biggest names in Chicago built mansions along the Lake Michigan coastline on the North Shore, many of them on Sheridan Road. In the 21st century, there's a new Sheridan Road, and it runs vertically—38 stories straight up from a site on Walton Street—in the city rather than horizontally along the suburban shoreline.
In the past year, a few dozen corporate chiefs, pro athletes and other big names have bought multimillion-dollar homes in a single condo tower, No. 9 Walton, resulting in the tallest stack of high-end home sales ever in Chicago.
The developer of One Chicago Square, a skyline-changing project slated for the block-sized parking lot across from River North’s Holy Name Cathedral, is targeting a January groundbreaking after securing a prominent joint venture partner, according to a recent report by Crain’s. Chicago-based JDL Development will team with busy local developer Sterling Bay on the $850 million, two-tower plan at 740 N. State Street. The project will feature 869 rental units and condos, offices, and retail including a Whole Foods Market and a sprawling, 100,000-square-foot Lifetime Fitness.
Sterling Bay has joined JDL Development’s One Chicago Square skyscraper project. The two Chicago-based companies confirmed they are teaming up on the project that includes a 76-story tower that would be the sixth-tallest building in the city when completed in 2022, according to Crain’s. The project would also include a 45-story tower, with both buildings rising from a nine-story base.
The Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday signed off on a pair of projects with a combined, $700 million price tag: one filling a surface parking lot near Holy Name Cathedral, the other triggering a development boom in the North Branch Corridor.
The twin-tower complex known as “One Chicago Square” will include 869 residential units at a cost of $500 million.
It will become Chicago’s 6th-tallest building — nearly as tall as the Hancock Building — filling a parking lot owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago at the corner of State Street and Chicago Avenue.
The massive One Chicago Square project took a key step forward today as members of the Chicago Plan Commission voted in favor of what could be the city’s sixth tallest building.
Slated to replace a long-time parking lot across from Holy Name Cathedral at the corner of State Street and Chicago Avenue, the mixed-use project from JDL Development calls for a pair of glassy towers rising a respective 49 and 76 stories atop a shared podium. The taller of the duo will top out at 1,011 feet to becoming the eighth Chicago tower to exceed the 984-foot “supertall” classification.
The Chicago Plan Commission voted unanimously in favor of a zoning change for One Chicago Square, a two-tower project next to Holy Name Cathedral planned by JDL Development. Designed by Goettsch Partners and Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, the development at 740 N. State St. will include 869 apartments and condominiums, along with office and retail space.
What do luxury buyers want? That’s the proverbial $64 million question in Chicago’s recovering high-end condo market. And it’s the question award-winning interior designer Jessica Lagrange faced when she was hired by JDL Development to furnish the model apartments at Two West Delaware, a glassy 201-unit Gold Coast high-rise that was originally completed in 2010 and which the developer purchased in 2017.
A year and a half after the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced intentions to develop a sprawling surface parking lot across the street from Holy Name Cathedral on State Street, we now have a clearer picture of what is planned for the valuable River North site. An application submitted to the Chicago City Council today reveals that development partner JDL Development is looking to erect a pair of new towers at the site—one of which could potentially become one of the city’s tallest if built at the proposed 1,011 feet.
Chicago’s skyline could be growing taller north and west of the Loop. North of the Loop, JDL Development wants to spend $700 million to develop two luxury residential towers on a parking lot just west of Holy Name Cathedral, including one that would become the city’s sixth-tallest skyscraper.
A Chicago developer plans to spend more than $700 million on a luxury housing project in River North that would include a 76-story tower, one of the tallest residential buildings in the city. JDL Development wants to build nearly 900 apartments and condominiums and a high-end fitness center on the block just west of the Holy Name Cathedral at State and Superior streets. JDL today filed its plans with the city for the two-tower project, which is being designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and Goettsch Partners.
A developer wants to replace Holy Name Cathedral's parking lot with a pair of new towers, including one that really stretches toward the heavens. Chicago-based JDL Development filed its zoning application with city officials Wednesday for the big development site at State Street and Chicago Avenue.
JDL Development has opened SixForty North Wells, a 250-unit luxury apartment tower in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The 23-story building is currently 41 percent leased and 37 percent occupied.
640 North Wells: Within walking distance of many of River North's food and cultural gems, this 23-story building will offer 250 units with a focus on high-end kitchen and bath finishes for discerning renters. Coveted amenities include an outdoor putting green and an outdoor dog run.
In this competitive real estate market, luxury properties are offering residents amenities usually only found in luxury resorts. [At Two West Delaware] recent renovations include a revamped amenities floor with a state-of-the-art fitness center that includes space for residents to work out with their trainers, as well as a spa with a steam room, massage room, and salon facility.
Jim Letchinger, president of Chicago-based JDL Development, confirmed that he is in talks with the Archdiocese of Chicago to acquire the site at the southwest corner of State Street and Chicago Avenue. Though his plans for the parcel are far from firm, he outlined his vision for the project and explained his motivation for pursuing it.
“It’s at the crossroads of the great neighborhoods of Chicago. It ties North Michigan Avenue, River North and the Gold Coast together,” Letchinger said. “The scale of the site gives us the opportunity to create something that is spectacular for the City of Chicago.”
There's truth to that old cliché about location and real estate, but luxurious finishes and amenities are equally critical, and good timing doesn't hurt either. Two West Delaware, the glam redevelopment of a 2010 tower, represents the intersection of all three on one of the most desirable corners on the Gold Coast.
Developers are keeping Chicago architects and construction crews busy in the new year as the Windy City's building boom keeps on rolling.
New upscale buildings like No. 9 Walton are attracting buyers with deep pockets who want the latest and greatest…
Developer Jim Letchinger calls Two West Delaware "truly the first 2018 building" in Chicago...
In Chicago’s latest real estate boom, apartments are king. Developers delivered thousands of new apartment units to the greater downtown area last summer…
We asked leaders in Chicagoland development to give us a quick take on key issues in new construction. Here’s what they told us about their biggest challenges in today’s market…
Pre-crash Chicago multifamily was all about mid-rise condos. No longer. This cycle, the focus is on high-density apartment towers with shared amenities and other condo-like features. That’s among the reasons we’re excited to host Bisnow’s You’re Going to Build What? 3rd Annual Chicago Construction & Development event on Aug. 18 at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, starting at 7am.
The 22-story tower that is looking to take the place of the kitschy Ed Debevic’s restaurant in River North is one step closer to digging in. Last week, the Chicago Plan Commission approved of the plan from JDL Development, which includes 251 apartments, 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and 117 parking spaces…
In 2011, developer Jim Letchinger broke ground on a 250-unit apartment in Old Town, perfect timing to capture the upswing in the rental market. When he sold for $157 million in 2013, he made a handsome profit. That sales marked the beginning of a big growth period in his career, as Crain’s revealed in a new profile showing how Letchinger recovered from the recession to build an impressive real estate portfolio…
Cinco de Mayo was a special holiday for Jim Letchinger in 2011. After a few tough years trying to satisfy unpaid debts from the real estate bust—and briefly considering a career change—the Chicago developer broke ground that day on a 250-unit apartment project in Old Town, just as the rental market was shifting into a higher gear. The project “kick-started my career,” says Letchinger, president of JDL Development, a company he founded in 2003. “It gave me credibility.”
It was the beginning of what his son calls JDL 2.0, a frenetic period for Letchinger, who has become one of the city’s busiest residential developers in the post-crash era. Letchinger and his partners have built or are building more than 1,000 apartments in Chicago, including his biggest project, a 469-unit tower under construction in the South Loop.
Pale violet walls and weathered wood finishes provide an elegant, understated backdrop for the lobby of The Scott Residences in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood.
The intimate entrance sets the stage for this new and — by recent Chicago standards — relatively small rental property of 71 apartments. They are part of a six-story, mixed-use building at Wells and Scott streets, one block north of Division Street…
“There’s always been demand for high-end, luxury units,” said Jim Letchinger, president of JDL Development Corp., which next week will begin taking reservations for a 70-unit project planned for 21 W. Walton St. where…
In the South Loop, a joint venture between Chicago-based JDL Development Corp. and iStar Financial Inc. of New York secured a $79.7 million construction loan for a 28-story, 469-unit high-end apartment tower at 1000 S. Clark St. The venture has begun preparing the site for construction and is awaiting a foundation permit from the city, said JDL President Jim Letchinger.
Mr. Letchinger said he expects the first residents at 1000 S. Clark to move in in October 2015. He expects to charge rents around $2.60 per square foot. The construction loan covers 64 percent of the project’s total cost of $124 million, he said. The Chicago office of HFF Inc. arranged the loan from Little Rock, Arkansas-based Bank of the Ozarks.
The rise of the skyscrapers in Chicago continues with news that developer Jim Letchinger of JDL Development is planning a 29 story, 469-unit tower at 1000 S. Clark Street, according to Crain’s. Letchinger is “very, very close” to securing a construction loan and hopes to break ground in mid-May. The building will be designed by Chicago’s own Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture with a completion date set for May 2015.
While no details were given concerning amenities or building details, the tower will be located next door to the South Loop Target store. The building will be a joint venture between JDL Development and iStar Financial Inc., which took the property back from its prior owner in 2011. Under the property’s current zoning, the construction of the new building is permitted.
With Old Town and Wrigleyville covered, developer Jim Letchinger has set his sights on the South Loop.
Mr. Letchinger is in advanced stages of planning a 469-unit apartment tower at 1000 S. Clark St., just a short walk north of the Target store on Roosevelt Road. Designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, it would be the biggest building for Mr. Letchinger…
As he wraps up apartment projects in Old Town and Wrigleyville, developer Jim Letchinger is preparing to launch an even bigger one in the South Loop.
Mr. Letchinger said he plans a 469-unit tower at 1000 S. Clark St., just north of the Target store on Roosevelt Road. He is “very, very close” to securing a construction loan for the development, which he would build in a joint venture with lender iStar Financial Inc. iStar which took the property back from its prior owner in 2011.
It has been a busy few years for Mr. Letchinger. He was part of a venture that developed 1225 Old Town, a 250-unit tower in Old Town, and sold it for $157 million last year. Across the street, at the corner of Wells and Scott streets, he and Norridge-based Harlem Irving Cos. are developing a 71-unit apartment building that he expects to finish in August.
In Wrigleyville, a joint venture between JDL and Harlem Irving recently completed a 269-unit project at 3740 N. Halsted St. The development is 25 percent leased, and its first residents started moving in over the weekend, Mr. Letchinger said.
At the site of the former Cuneo Hospital and Maryville Academy in Uptown, slated to be demolished shortly, JDL Development has proposed building 749 apartments in two buildings, along with 30,000 square feet of retail space. In addition, 554 parking spaces will be constructed, the minimum required by Chicago’s zoning code.
Of these spaces, 65 will be set aside for the retail (likely a grocery store), while the remaining will be for residents. The parking will be “unbundled” from the price of housing, meaning that tenants will not have to pay for parking if they don’t need it. The spaces for retail will be offered free of charge to patrons.
Chicago shouldn’t require so much parking. The developer, James Letchinger, said in an email that 60-65 percent of parking in JDL’s other developments sit empty. At tens of thousands of dollars per space in construction costs alone, all these parking spaces drive up the price of housing and the cost of retail goods. Parking mandates also result in less space being developed for more productive uses.
A previously mysterious rendering of a South Loop residential tower has been confirmed today to be a new apartment development planned at 1000 South Clark Street. Don’t pack your things just yet, as the developer still needs to secure funding for the shiny new building. However, Crain’s is reporting that the developer, JDL Development is super close to getting loans for the construction of South Loop’s latest entry. At 29 stories, the tower isn’t breaking any height records, but once completed, the building should have enough room for about 469 apartment units. An updated rendering also comes along with the news, which appears to show no design changes, only more detail. While River North is swimming in proposed apartment developments, this new large rental project may indicate a shifting trend towards new apartments in the South Loop area.
Chicago’s apartment market continues to fire on all cylinders as never-before-seen rents and amenities enter the fray. (Are we inching closer to robot butlers?) We got the lowdown at the Bisnow fourth annual Chicago Multifamily Summit…
JDL Development president Jim Letchinger (1,500 units under development in Chicago) says only the best locations with high barriers to entry will get built these days. If it’s easy to build, you’re probably in the wrongmarket. Today’s renters are renting by choice, looking for top of the market product that is more desirable than their for-sale options. On micro apartments, Jim says large-scale adoption of the trend is a number of years away in Chicago. As a stepchild to the coasts, people come here for the space, not to enjoy the admittedly practical uses of a Murphy bed.
On the seam between Old Town and the Gold Coast lies the fabled mini-neighborhood of Clark and Division where the development gears are whirring. Actually, it’s very real. And those of you who’ve ended a long night at Mother’s or Butch McGuire’s know what we mean.
JDL Development president Jim Letchinger has known the area literally his entire life (he grew up around Division and the lake). His recent 250-unit multifamily project with Hines (1225 Old Town), opened in August and is already 92% leased with rents well over $3/SF. Jim likes the high demand in the area and even more the high barrier to entry for new projects (JDL won zoning approval for 1225 back in 2009). He’s bringing in a 28k SF Plum Market specialty grocery store this spring. He’s also working with Harlem Irving on a proposed $30M mixed-use development across the street. In the midst of permitting, the proposed 71-unit apartment building with 10k SF of retail is being eyed by a “strong Chicago name” restaurant, Jim hints, and he hopes to break ground by the end of March.
The 16-story Elm Tower, at Elm and Dearborn streets, is a six-year-old building designed to look and feel like the vintage co-ops of the Gold Coast. When he was building it, the developer, Jim Letchinger, told me he had grown up in the neighborhood and wanted to put up something that captured the intimate, urban feeling of the 1920s residential buildings he loved there…