Draper & Kramer lists massive Bronzeville rental complex in Opportunity Zone

The developer built the 1,675-unit, five-building Prairie Shores complex in 1961
February 28, 2019 03:30PM

Todd Bancroft and the Prairie Shores apartments

Draper & Kramer is looking to sell its Prairie Shores apartment complex in Bronzeville, testing the market for the emerging area near McCormick Place and the federal Opportunity Zone program.

The Chicago-based developer hired HFF to market the 1,675-unit Prairie Shores complex that spans five buildings in Bronzeville, according to Crain’s. Built by Draper & Kramer in 1961, the development now rests at the south end of the growing McCormick Place district, which is seeing renewed developer interest, and is close to the site of the old Michael Reese Hospital that’s eyed for redevelopment.

The development also sits within an opportunity zone, according to Crain’s. It could be one of the first big, local deals to fall within an opportunity zone, the new but already extremely popular federal program that lets investors defer taxes if they invest in the zones encompassing low-income areas.

The complex is being marketed as a rehab opportunity, according to Crain’s. Draper & Kramer already rehabbed 54 units, which rent for a premium. The complex is 94 percent occupied.

Listing Prairie Shores is one of the first major moves under new CEO Todd Bancroft, only the second non-family member to heard the company in its 125-year history. In an interview with The Real Deal, Bancroft said the company would undertake a number of new initiatives, including an expansion to new markets.

Draper & Kramer is not exiting the Near South Side rental market anytime soon. The firm still owns the 2,000-unit Lake Meadows just south of Prairie Shore. Earlier this month, Draper & Kramer started work on its long-planned 275-unit tower near McCormick Place. [Crain’s]Joe Ward