3750 N. Halsted – JDL Development One Step CLOSER to Approval

It amazes me that amid a sluggish economy a developer who wants to build a quality product and provide hundreds of jobs to a community has this much trouble getting approval. Well, thankfully JDL is one step closer to obtaining final approval for their planned residential rental and retail development at 3750 N. Halsted in Chicago’s Lakeview (Boystown more specifically) neighborhood.

Below is the newest front elevation for the proposed plan which has been changed numerous time after considering nearby resident and business input.

JDL Development Planned for 3750 N. Halsted

This elevation is probably the best representation of the development as it shows its true size and the fact that it does not dwarf the neighboring buildings nor compromise the view of 828 W. Grace. According to the meeting minutes from the recent 46th Ward Zoning and Development committee, the committee approved a planned development over the current zoning. Furthermore, the committee approved a group of 5 members to work with the developer over the next 3 weeks to come to a finalized plan which will then be presented to the entire committee. Hopefully after this JDL can start to apply for permits and start moving forward.

Rumor has it that JDL made the comment that if they cannot build a planned development such as this they would then build a big box retail store. Such a store WOULD conform to current zoning and would mean they would NOT need approval from the 46th Ward Zoning Committee. Again it amazes me the resistance that a few in the community have to this planned project.

3750 N. HALSTED – New Development Barry & Halsted in Boystown

There is a new buzz around Lakeview and that buzz is centered around a vacant lot, used for parking, at 3750 N. Halsted. For those of you trying to picture this space it is the lot just south of the iHop on the corner of Barry & Halsted. The development is proposed by JDL Development and is proposed to consist of 347 Condo Quality RENTAL units in addition to 369 parking spaces and 46,000sf of retail space.

The project has unfortunately gained the attention of some in the neighborhood who do not want it built. They feel the project is too big and the amount of rental units will saturate the rental market in Lakeview. Others are concerned about the amount of increased traffic while those at the buildings on Grace are concerned about having their views blocked.

If you stand in the vacant lot and look north you’ll find two buildings which are equal to or greater in height than the proposed development. If you look to the east you’ll find countless buildings such as 655 Irving Park, 3660 Lake Shore, 3930 Pine Grove…the list goes on. The idea of “flooding” the market with a supply of rentals does not hold water. 3750 N. Halsted is with in the 60613 zipcode and just north of the popular 60657 Lakeview zipcode. Combined these zipcodes are comprised of roughly 110,000 residents. Many buildings were built along lake shore drive in excess of 347 units at a time when population in these zipcodes were much much less.

Many have shouted that they would like to see more family development in the area. Larger units, perhaps 3 bedrooms, maybe town homes. However, at the end of the day, the demand and NEED in the area is for smaller units which the majority of the development is comprised of. When we look at buildings such as 655 W. Irving Park we see small 1 bedrooms and large studios rented in a matter of days. When we look at market times for all of lakeview we find that the market times for Studios and 1 Bedrooms are nearly half that of large 2 Bedroom and 3 Bedroom rental units.

There are also complaints regarding the 46,000 square feet of commercial space. The most common complaint is “there are so many vacant store fronts already, why do we need more commercial?” While on the surface this may sound like a legitimate argument it actually is not. Many of the vacant store fronts are in older buildings and they’re smaller spaces. Furthermore it is very difficult for a small retail shop or any business that needs foot traffic to open up amidst an empty area. Right now, without this development the area is…blahh. There are not many things around, but the area has phenomenal promise with some great restaurants being only a block to the north or a block to the south away. Having 46,000 square feet of retail space open in this area can easily create an anchor location. An “anchor” store or location is one in which people see as a destination spot. They GO TO IT specifically. Such a store in this location would be great as it would increase foot traffic on this slower part of Broadway and Halsted which will actually increase the ability for landlords of smaller vacant store fronts to lease out their space.

Lastly, one of the most important things of any new development is QUALITY. The last thing we want is a developer to walk in, build something, sell it off and leave WITHOUT caring about the quality of the building a couple years down the road. JDL Development is not that kind of developer. They’re known for building very high quality developments in some of the most desirable parts of Chicago. Furthermore, JDL does not plan to “flip” this building like many other developers are currently doing with apartment buildings. They actually plan to OWN IT AND HOLD IT after the development is built.

The building will not be cheap and it will not be poor quality. It will more than likely rent at a premium compared to everything else due to the amenities, location and features. All units will have In Unit Washer / Dryer, they will have Granite and Stainless Steel and the list goes on. Unlike buildings in the area such as 655 Irving, 3660 Lake Shore, 3930 Pine Grove and others, 3750 Halsted will have 9′ ceilings and will FEEL like a condo building, not like a typical rental development.

This development will bring hundreds of jobs to the area while it is being built. It will continue to employ people after the construction is complete and it will also bring roughly 1 Million Dollars of tax revenue to the city.

Paul Blackburn is an Illinois Licensed Realtor and Associate Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. He can be reached with any questions, comments or to inquire about his services at Paul@PKBlackburn.com

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