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CHICAGO: Breaking Into The 'Burbs

National Multifamily

One young Chicago-area company is banking on its mix of for-sale/for-rent strategies to deliver more than 800 units in the Chicago 'burbs. Development vets Warren James and Matt Nix, above, founded REVA Development Partners last year when the multifamily development gears began whirring again in the 'burbs. REVA broke ground this July on its first project, 304 units in Vernon Hills with institutional equity partner RREEF (construction loan from JPMorgan), Matt tells us. The project's secret sauce is its "next gen" garden design, he adds. (Warren, a pilot, snapped this recent aerial shot below.) In addition to being about 15% rental townhomes, the three-story garden buildings (typically walk-up) will include elevators, both coveted offerings in the renter-by-choice market.


The townhomes will appeal to families, while the elevators are a plus for empty nesters and seniors, Matt says. (And lazy reporters.) REVA's other similarly designed projects on the docket this spring: 288-unit Northgate Crossings in Wheeling and another proposed 231 units in Orland Park. Convenient access to employment, transit, and amenities is key, Matt says, and their medium-density product allows for substantial green space. Competitors have taken a higher-density approach with podium and "wrap" buildings with structured and underground parking, but going vertical drives costs and can impinge on amenity space, Matt says. He's not concerned about oversupply given the market's complexity and virtual lack of institutional quality supply delivered in almost 20-plus years in some cases.