Chicago, Rogers Park Vacant Lot Development

10 Replies

I am new to real estate. My background is Finance from DePaul University.

My family owns a vacant lot the Chicago land Chicago area. The lot size is 100' x 125' (12,500 square feet).

Address: 2501 W. Devon AVE

We will be developing retail property. With 6 store fronts.

We have just contracted a architect to create Plans. He will be building plans and I would like to go to corporate establishments like Subway, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Bank of America, etc  to let them know we will build our store fronts to fit their requirements.

What steps do you recommend I should to get these kind of tenants. Are you guys aware of commercial real estate agents in Chicago land area to help with this process to get these type of tenants.

@Syed Lateef - I am not familiar with CRE and retail but maybe @Joel Owens  can recommend somebody here.  That is a great area for development 

Hi Syed,

You are going after national tenants that offer more security and tend to pay more per sq ft.

They only do that for the best locations.

Their development departments get bombarded with site submissions all the time. They will look at their criteria and then look at all locations for the best one. They are not looking for the cheapest rent but the best locations to grow the brand for exposure and sales.

You call and speak to their directors and they will give insight on why they do not like your location. You can then ask them what type of national tenant if they do not like it do they think would find it attractive?? You might find only mom and pop tenants want that space and location.

I would be hitting those phones before spending money on the building construction and get firm commitments in place from the national guys.

Hey Syed,

My company represents tenants for commercial space. Give me a shout - and I can see if any of them are interested.



@Joel Owens  

Thanks for your response.

I would like to present the best presentation possible to those national clients. Therefore I would like the help of a real estate agent that's familiar with the process who can help me lock in these type of clients.

Are you aware of any in the Chicago land area that you can refer me to?


My suggestion is call a local to Chicago mom and pop real estate development firm with agents to help. Also you can call in two of the big guy commercial firms. Interview all three and let them say what they can do for you and how.

You do not want multiple agents pitching to various tenants. The reason is the directors for the acquisitions department will think there is no control for the property. They only want to deal with properties that are already controlled and one point of representation so that no time is wasted.

It's very frustrating for a director to get the same material from various parties and be told different things. They do not have time for such nonsense. I know people up in Chicago but not an agent for development that I could refer. 


@Joel Owens  

Thanks for your response. I contacted 2 commercial leasing agents and spoke to them. I want to talk to about 2 more before I make a decision who I want to represent me in front of these Corporate Clients.

I will keep you posted.

@Joel Owens  

I made some movement regarding my project. We decided to make 4 storefronts. Simple commercial building.

So far we hired an Architect and a Leasing agent 

I already spoke to the Alderman in my ward and shes inline with our plans to create the commercial building. I also spoke to the bank. They have are wanting a estimated budget on the cost of the construction. 

My next step is to get highlevel bids/estimates from general contractors. The bank wants to know how much estimated cost it will be to build the building.

Do you guys know/recommend any general contractors that specialize in commercial properties in chicago? I was thinking of contacting the big firms and go from there (Walsh, Turner, Clayco) i feel like im too small of a project for them to take us on. 

Let me know your thoughts. 



Hi @Brie Schmidt

You mentioned that i should look into partnering with developers to go up 7 stories for my fathers mixed use development in West Rogers Park Chicago

Do you recommend anyone i can talk to to find a development/investing company that is interested in taking on this large Commercial real estate  project?

@Syed Lateef - I would ask your bank if they have anyone to recommend and come to the meetup in January and present it to the group.  I will also ask around

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