Draper & Kramer plans 131 units in Old Town

Development is at site of shuttered playhouse

Draper & Kramer CEO Todd Bancroft and a rendering of 1633-1649 North Halsted Street
Draper & Kramer CEO Todd Bancroft and a rendering of 1633-1649 North Halsted Street (Draper & Kramer)

After making a big sale of a vintage Bronzeville asset this summer, apartment developer and investor Draper & Kramer wants to bring something new to Chicago.

The firm is proposing a 131-unit complex in the Old Town section of the Lincoln Park community area, and seeking approval for the project at 1633-1649 North Halsted Street at this month’s Chicago Plan Commission meeting, scheduled for Aug. 17.

In addition to the residential units, the nine-story building would include about 4,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 34 parking spaces. The proposal requires rezoning the site from a community shopping district to a residential-business planned development, according to the Plan Commission agenda.

The development is located at the former site of the Royal George Theatre, a longtime fixture in Chicago’s live entertainment scene that was constructed in the 1980s and shuttered due to the pandemic. Draper & Kramer bought the 26,000-square-foot lot for $7.1 million in 2021.

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The proposed development will add more housing to one of Chicago’s most in-demand neighborhoods. Multifamily availability in the Lincoln Park-Lakeview area dropped by 190 basis points year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023, according to a report from Marcus & Millichap. 

The pace of multifamily construction in the Chicago metro area slowed over the 12-month period ending in March, with just over 6,000 units completed during that time frame, per the report.

Chicago-based Draper & Kramer, a 130-year-old firm helmed by CEO Todd Bancroft, owns 6,000 multifamily units and has invested $600 million in the last five years, according to its website.

In May, Draper & Kramer cashed in on the 1,869-unit Lake Meadows apartment complex in Bronzeville for $161 million, selling it to Antheus Capital.
The firm is also planning a nine-story, 129-unit multifamily tower at 330 West Chestnut Street on the Near North Side.

Read more

Draper & Kramer CEO Todd Bancroft with Royal George Theatre (Google Maps, Draper & Kramer)
Apartment complex could rise at shuttered Lincoln Park playhouse
Lake Meadows apartments at 3233 S. King Drive in Bronzeville
Antheus paid over $160M for Lake Meadows apartments
Plan Commission approves 2,700 units across 6 towers downtown