Let us pay: JDL buying 10-acre dev site from bible college

If the deal with Moody Bible Institute closes, the developer could build up to 2.5K residential units on Near North Side

JDL CEO James Letchinger and Moody Bible Institute (Credit: Wikipedia)
JDL CEO James Letchinger and Moody Bible Institute (Credit: Wikipedia)

JDL Development is planning to buy 10 acres of land on the Near North Side, where it could build thousands of residential units.

A price wasn’t given but offers for the listing had been expected to top $200 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.

JDL has a preliminary agreement to buy the land from Moody Bible Institute, just north of the school’s main campus at 820 North LaSalle Drive, the Tribune reported. The developer has had recent success with several projects, most notably ultra-luxury condo tower No. 9 Walton.

The bible college put its land up for sale last summer, and the offering drew a high volume of interest because of its proximity to Downtown. At the time, The Real Deal reported that a buyer could eventually build up to 5.3 million square feet of new apartments, office, retail or hotels by transferring unused zoning density from the school’s remaining buildings.

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If the deal moves forward and JDL wins approvals from the city, it could build 2,500 or more apartments and condos throughout several buildings on the site.

Down the street from the Moody’s campus, JDL is building One Chicago Square, which will feature 795 luxury apartments, 75 condos and 50,000 square feet of office space between two buildings. The developer bought the site from the Archdiocese of Chicago for about $115 million in 2017.

JDL made a splash with No. 9 Walton, in which it has amassed $377 million in sales, according to a recent Tribune analysis. Last month, the developer sold the final available condo in the building, which has a roster of celebrity owners.

[Tribune] — Brianna Kelly