Holy Name residential project could include 700-plus units

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.”

Cornering the Market

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.

Mapping the 44 high-rises under construction in Chicago right now

Developers are keeping Chicago architects and construction crews busy in the new year as the Windy City's building boom keeps on rolling.

The priciest Chicago home sales in 2016

New upscale buildings like No. 9 Walton are attracting buyers with deep pockets who want the latest and greatest…

Ever done a rehab? You'll relate to this developer

Where to Rent in Chicago Right Now

In Chicago’s latest real estate boom, apartments are king. Developers delivered thousands of new apartment units to the greater downtown area last summer…

Chicagoland Construction Leaders on the State of Market

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…

How Chicago Multifamily Morphed from Mid-Rise Condos to Luxury Towers

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.

That New Tower Replacing Ed Debevic’s is Moving Forward

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…

Rise of JDL Properties Developer Chronicled in New Profile

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…

Nearly flattened by the recession, this developer now is one of Chicago’s busiest builders

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.

Scott Residences a cozy urban enclave in Old Town

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…

High-end condos point to rebounding market in downtown Chicago

“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…

Here come another 959 apartments downtown

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.

Big Sleek Apartment Tower Coming to South Loop

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.

Busy Builder

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…

South Loop to land big new apartment building

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.

Parking Minimums at Work: Uptown Tower Must Build 554 Parking Spots

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.

New Glassy Apartment Tower Confirmed For The South Loop

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.

Tomorrow’s Apartments Will be Smaller, with Pet Spas

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.

Not Your Mom’s Clark/Division

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.

On the Market: A Gold Coast Condo with a Suburban Feel

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…