JDL Eyes Massive Resi Project in River North


James D. Letchinger (JDL, Getty)

James D. Letchinger (JDL, Getty)

The Chicago housing market has been hit hard over the past seven months, but JDL Development is betting on the future.

The firm wants to build a 2,680-unit housing complex on a sprawling site it is looking to buy from the Moody Bible Institute, according to Crain’s. Spread across 8 acres in River North, it would be the largest residential development in Chicago in almost 20 years.

Last month, JDL sought approvals for a major residential project at that location, but did not provide details, only saying the project could include as many as 3,950 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail.

Moody Bible Institute, a Christian college, put 10 acres of land on the market in July 2019 without an asking price. It appears JDL — which still needs city approval to purchase the property — would only acquire eight acres.

Called North Union, the development would include 246 units set aside as affordable to meet the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance, according to Crain’s. JDL would provide funds for 110 more affordable units that would be built in the city. The project would take about a decade to complete. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture is designing the complex.

JDL developed the ultra-luxury No. 9 Walton condo tower in Gold Coast, which has been popular with celebrities and business executives like billionaire Ken Griffin.

JDL president Jim Letchinger said it took the civil unrest that occurred in Chicago over the summer — starting with protests following the killing of George Floyd — for him to realize he could do more improve opportunities for the city’s Black and Hispanic residents of the South and West sides, according to the report. [Crain’s] –– Raji Pandya

Map of the Moody Bible Institute property (Moody Bible, JDL)

Map of the Moody Bible Institute property (Moody Bible, JDL)

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