Broker who switched to Compass has side-hustle as developer

Former KRAIN exec John Federici is building luxury condos in Lakeview

TRD CHICAGO /
Mar.March 05, 2019 04:30 PM

Broker John Federici and a rendering of 454 West Barry street

As the luxury market slows down nationally, a former brokerage chief has taken a bullish approach to moving units.

He’s building them himself.

John Federici, who was managing broker of boutique firm KRAIN Real Estate for 14 years before moving over to Compass in December, is putting up a new condo building at 454 West Barry Street in Lakeview.

The 3,300 square-foot, four-bedroom units will sell in the “high one-millions,” with the penthouse asking for slightly more, Federici said. There are only two four-bedroom condos on the market in Lakeview today, according to Redfin, and they top out at $1.6 million.

“Condos of that size are very desirable,” said Federici, whose partners on the project are Jefferson Offutt and William Fisher — both former KRAIN agents. Fisher, who also sells for Compass, will co-list the units with Federici.

Federici is funding the project with a $4.8 million construction loan from Renovo Financial, which records show closed last week. He bought the property — currently a red-brick house — in 2016 for $1.65 million, and his permit application is moving through the city now.

KRAIN closed in December when Federici took 11 of his top agents with him to Compass, he said. His new company has no problem with his work on the side.

“They encourage us to procure business,” Federici said. “You just need to divulge your ownership interests legally, which we’re always up-front about.”

This is not Federici’s first ground-up project. He and his partners also built 10 units at 1018 North Larrabee Street in Old Town, when KRAIN still existed. No longer an owner, he said he can focus on building and selling.

“It’s kind of nice,” he said. “You’re always on top of what’s going on.”


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