Developer needs to convince neighbors, city, lenders of 333-unit Lakeview project’s virtues

Jonathan Holtzman is trying to build on a Lake Shore Drive plot that has stymied developers in the past. And he’s doing so in an uncertain climate

Chicago /
Apr.April 16, 2020 02:00 PM
Developer Jonathan Holtzman and the site at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Waveland Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Developer Jonathan Holtzman and the site at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Waveland Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Jonathan Holtzman is wasting no time with his ambitious proposal in Lakeview.

The Michigan-based developer filed plans with the city for a 333-unit apartment project on one of Lake Shore Drive’s last sizable parcels, a plot that has stymied developers for decades, according to Crain’s.

Holtzman told the outlet that the project at the southwest corner of Lake Shore Drive and Waveland Avenue includes one building that would rise 19 stories, along with a six-story building next door. He wants to obtain permits now so he can build when the economy rebounds, according to Crain’s.

Holtzman has already begun the arduous work of convincing neighbors of his plan. He’s apparently reached an accord on building heights and parking issues with the condo board next door, the 48-story New York Private Residences, Crain’s reported. To obtain the zoning change, he’ll also have to obtain the blessing of Alderman James Cappleman.

The bigger challenge, however, is likely to be in nabbing financing for his project, which is a short walk from Wrigley Field. With banks likely to see defaults in their portfolios, the lending climate on commercial projects isn’t expected to be strong in the near-term.

“We don’t know how quickly the lending environment’s going to come back, but we want to be in a position to be first,” Holtzman told the news outlet.

There have been several other unsuccessful development plans in the past, including one by developer Nick Gouletas in 2005. [Crain’s] — James Kleimann


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