The Ultimate In Luxury Living: Caretta

“Residents of Caretta are treated to a refined lifestyle that is both elegant and completely convenient,” stated Jim Letchinger, president of JDL. “Living at Caretta doesn't mean downsizing, but rather simplifying. The development has been meticulously designed to ensure that residents have access to all the necessary amenities, making it the most desirable place to call home.”

One Chicago wins 2023 International Architecture Award

One Chicago, a two-tower luxury residential and mixed-use complex completed last year, has won the 2023 International Architecture Award. The annual International Architecture Awards recognize excellence in architecture and urbanism from a global perspective. For 2023, a jury of architects and designers from Austria, Germany, Italy, and the U.S. selected almost 150 submissions from a shortlist of more than 850 projects.

868 N. Wells tops out at North Union

Planned by JDL Development, the building occupies a rectangular site along N. Wells St stretching from W. Chestnut St to W. Locust St. With a design by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, 868 N. Wells will stand 26 floors high with 411 rental units and 12,000 square feet of retail space.

One Chicago Voted Chicago’s Best Skyscraper

After over 800 votes in just the championship round, One Chicago has been named Urbanize Chicago’s 2023 Best Skyscraper! Beating the John Hancock Center by a healthy margin of 90 votes, the new almost supertall has won the crown for being the best skyscraper in Chicago according to all of you!

There’s a new standard for amenities in Chicago's luxury residential building

The days of 24-hour doormen and on-site fitness centers standing out are over. In Chicago's upscale residential apartment and condo buildings, that's just the standard. Now, it takes something increasingly special to lure and retain tenants. At One Chicago, JDL Development has put an emphasis on the service aspect: ”It’s kind of the next wave," says Joey Letchinger, one of the company’s project managers. ”Making sure that anything our residents need, we're there to provide.”

One Chicago skyscraper officially tops-out above River North

JDL Development has officially topped-off its massive, skyline-altering One Chicago project. Working high above River North, crews from Power Construction placed the final slab atop the 971-foot residential building, which is the taller of the two skyscrapers that make up the One Chicago complex.

A closer look at the high-tech condos headed to River North’s One Chicago development

As the foundation of the block-sized One Chicago development takes shape across from downtown’s Holy Name Cathedral, the team behind the massive two-tower complex has offered an early glimpse at the interiors. The images show 77 high-tech condo units that will occupy the top floors within the two-tower project’s taller 969-foot building. “The first thing that strikes you is that the condos start on the 44th floor, which means you have great sightlines in every direction,” Jim Letchinger of JDL Development tells Curbed Chicago.

Parking Lots Become Golden Opportunities

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.

Here's the first look inside those high-end condos going up across from Holy Name

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.

How No. 9 Walton became Chicago’s No. 1 address

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.

River North’s supertall One Chicago Square project targets January start

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. 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.

Holy Name, North Branch projects win Plan Commission approval

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.

Chicago’s future sixth-tallest building passes key city vote

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.

$800 million, 76-story River North tower gets city panel OK

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.

A glimpse inside the Gold Coast's most luxurious rentals

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.

Supertall skyscraper planned for River North parking lot

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.

North and west of Loop, skyline looking up

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. 

Developer plans 76-story residential skyscraper next to Holy Name

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.

Skyscraper Almost As Tall As Hancock Planned For Holy Name Cathedral Lot

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 Opens 250-Unit Luxury Apartment Tower in Chicago

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.

Coming up

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.

Properties with Perks

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.

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…

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…

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.

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…