“King of the West Loop” sells $10.3M site

Buyers plan to build 19-story, 213-foot mixed-use tower

Peppercorn Capital's Philip Denny’ and the site of 1217 West Washington Boulevard (Google Maps)
Peppercorn Capital's Philip Denny’ and the site of 1217 West Washington Boulevard (Google Maps)

The self-styled “King of the West Loop” is moving even further in that direction.

Philip Denny’s Peppercorn Capital, among Fulton Market’s first investors, sold a site at 1217 West Washington Boulevard for $10.3 million to a venture that’s set to develop a 288-unit building with 4,000 square feet of retail. He bought the site for $4.5 million in 2016.

Denny, the sole owner of all his 26 West Loop properties, said he’s shedding assets in the center of Fulton Market and is eyeing the Kinzie Industrial Corridor just west of downtown. While he’s hesitant to say the area’s success can be replicated, Kinzie has a familiar feel: Like Fulton Market’s early days, zoning now bars residential development. Once that changed, developers came charging in.

“Fulton Market is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime success,” said Denny, an Occidental College graduate who received his MBA from Northwestern University and says he’s counted Oprah Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, as a tenant. “It’s not that I’m departing it, it’s that the rate of growth will continue westward.”

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Designated in 1998, the Kinzie Corridor overlaps the Humboldt Park, West Town, East Garfield Park and Near West Side neighborhoods and is bound by Kinzie, Halstead, Madison Streets and Kedzie Avenue. Eleven years later, the City Council tweaked zoning rules to address the type of non-industrial uses it could be used for, while mostly keeping it industrial, Next City reported in 2019.

The West Washington sale, meantime, shows how Fulton Market bucks Chicago’s soggy pandemic recovery, Denny said. “Growth trends seem to continue,” he said.

He sold the site to a partnership between DAC Developments, Focus Development and Melrose Ascension Capital, according to DAC’s Daniel Rezko, who declined further comment.

The group submitted plans in July to build a 19-story, 213-foot mixed-use tower, according to Chicago YIMBY. At the time, the building was set to have 45 percent studios, 35 percent one-bedrooms, and 20 percent two-bedroom rentals.

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