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5 Chicago-Area Real Estate Companies Started by Trammell Crow Alums


Dallas real estate icon Trammell Crow left a lasting legacy in his 60 years in the industry. In 1971, Forbes dubbed Crow the country’s largest private real estate operator. The Trammell Crow Co had offices across the country and prepared scores of employees for continued success after they left the TCC nest. Here are five Chicago-area companies started by TCC vets.

Hamilton Partners


TCC Alumni: Allan J. Hamilton, Ronald Lunt (pictured), Patrick McKillen, Timothy Beechick, Donald Thomas, Jim Sheridan, Gary Mori, John Wauterlek and Bruce Bingham. Allan Hamilton died in a 2007 plane crash; Jim Sheridan retired last year.

Positions with Trammell Crow: Allan was TCC’s Midwest regional director. Ron, Patrick, Gary, Timothy and Donald were partners in TCC’s office division. Bruce and John specialized in industrial and Jim focused on retail. The team sued TCC over control of $750M in suburban real estate projects in which they had equity stakes and received most of the developable land in a settlement.

Projects: Today Hamilton Partners handles nearly 20M SF in the suburbs, Denver and Salt Lake City; the bulk of that (12M) is office. Hamilton Partners’ main office is in Itasca, where it recently launched a shuttle bus service for employees taking public transit to work from Chicago.

The Jaffe Cos


TCC Alumni: Mike Jaffe (pictured)

Position with Trammell Crow: Mike was a VP at TCC's San Antonio office from 1982 to 1990.

Projects: The Jaffe Cos specializes in high-end retail and has developed 3M SF in projects to date in the suburbs and across the Midwest. Notable projects include The Arboretum of South Barrington, Geneva Commons and Huebner Oaks Center in San Antonio.

The Lord Cos


TCC Alumni: Keith Lord (center, with Lord Cos VP Scott Fithian and former Chicago Association of Realtors president Darlene Little)

Position with Trammell Crow: Keith was a leasing agent and developer with TCC from 1985 to 1988.

Projects: The Lord Cos has a diversified portfolio in mixed-use repositionings, infill projects, land development, brokerage, investment and consulting.

DSI Group


TCC Alumni: Craig Manske (pictured)

Position with Trammell Crow: Craig started at Trammell Crow in 1981 and was a partner when he left to form DSI in 1992.

Projects: DSI specializes in construction ranging from ground-up development to renovations and interior design. Recent projects include renovating 90k SF of common space at 444 N Michigan, a complete overhaul of Cushman & Wakefield’s 40k SF offices at 200 S Wacker, a build-out and renovation of the Verizon Destination store at 840 N Michigan, and renovating the lobbies of Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Feinberg and Galter Pavilions.

Hammes Co


TCC Alumni: Jon Hammes (pictured)

Position at Trammell Crow: Jon succeeded Allan Hamilton as Midwest regional partner in 1987, working out of the Milwaukee office. He left to form Hammes Co in 1991.

Projects: Hammes Co is regarded as one of the nation’s leading healthcare real estate developers, including the $320M Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. Hammes branched out into sports stadium development and served as the construction manager of Lambeau Field’s $295M renovations and project manager for MetLife Stadium’s $1.8B construction.

See Also: 8 Major DC Real Estate Firms Led By Trammell Crow Alums, 6 Major Companies Started By Trammell Crow Alums