Chicago construction exec David Pepper dies at 59

Pepper was the third generation to run the 92-year-old family-run construction company

TRD CHICAGO /
Jan.January 02, 2020 11:00 AM
Pepper Construction CEO David Pepper (Credit: Pepper Construction)

Pepper Construction CEO David Pepper (Credit: Pepper Construction)

Pepper Construction CEO David Pepper died unexpectedly last week. He was 59.

The 92-year-old company has been run by three generations of Peppers, including David. The company recently ranked 15th on The Real Deal’s ranking of Chicago’s top contractors with 161,000 total square feet under development between June 2018 and May 2019. The company’s annual revenues were $1.25 billion in 2019, according to Crain’s.

Starbucks Roastery on North Michigan Avenue (Credit: Starbucks)

Starbucks Roastery on North Michigan Avenue (Credit: Starbucks)

During Pepper’s time as CEO, the company completed hundreds of projects each year including corporate headquarters and public works. In 2015, the company took on the 1060 Project to restore and renovate Wrigley Field. The firm also oversaw the 35,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Michigan Avenue, which recently opened.

Other projects include a 146,000 square foot spec industrial building with CA Ventures and an Amped Kitchens in Chicago’s Northwest Side.

Pepper joined the company in 1985 after graduating the civil engineering program at Iowa State University and took on the leadership position in 2003.

“He loved to build things,” his brother, Stanley Pepper told Crain’s. “He loved to see buildings going up. He liked to be part of that.” The family did not provide details about his death. [Crain’s] – Jacqueline Flynn


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