DLC Residential – Millennium on LaSalle
DLC Residential’s newest project in downtown Chicago reflects the company’s smart and selective approach to its developments.
By Jim Harris
DLC Residential believes in being selective about the projects it develops and builds. “We are a boutique development firm – we try not to overstretch ourselves,” Vice President Nick Coldea says. “We don’t build just to build; we’re very discerning and try not to bite off more than we can chew – that ensures not only quality, and also allows us to deliver the returns promised to our investors.”
The developer works with local brokers to seek out Class A sites in prime markets located in highly visible and walkable areas. “We use broad market knowledge and experience to target the most viable geographic regions, perform extensive research, then acquire the right assets at industry leading cap rates,” the company says.
DLC retains established local architects and other consultants as they assess prospective sites. “We have an efficient due diligence process; we don’t want to exercise ourselves or any of our resources,” Coldea adds.
The company targets the multi-family rental market. “Between the downturn in the traditional housing market and the uptrend of the population seeking a simpler, more maintenance-free lifestyle, targeting the multi-family market has proven to be a successful formula for investors seeking stable, solid returns with low risk and downside,” DLC Residential says. “Our philosophy of doing business is simple: create wealth and stable investment returns through conservative real estate developments that make sense.”
Preserving the Past
One of DLC Residential’s newest projects epitomizes its corporate philosophy of finding and building on properties in high-profile locations. The company in January 2016 purchased a 13-story office building located at 29 S. LaSalle St. in Chicago’s Loop business district. The building, known historically as Barrister Hall, was completed in 1902.
Although the company typically performs ground-up construction, Coldea says the building’s location and corridor-oriented shape made it a great candidate for apartments.
“We appreciated the building’s structure and historical nature, and the location is phenomenal,” DLC Residential Principal Igor Krivor says. “We want to create a new building that is amazing while keeping the original shell and saving portions of its architecture.”
Momentum Construction – DLC Residential’s general contracting arm – in November 2016 started converting the building into The Millennium on LaSalle, which will include 211 apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space. The project will be completed next summer.
The building features a steel structure and a limestone and terra cotta exterior. Much of the building’s exterior, including the windows on its first and second floors, will be preserved, while its interior has been completely gutted and replaced.
The most notable exception to the building’s interior facelift will be marble columns and ceilings found mainly in its lobby. These details are being removed during construction and then cleaned and re-installed in the renovated lobby, which will feature modern finishes, furniture and lighting.
Momentum Construction hired consultants to ensure it properly preserves the building’s history. “This has been a fun project, but the historical component adds another layer to it,” Coldea says. “It’s been challenging, but not impossible.”
In addition to installing new interior walls, Momentum Construction is bolstering the building’s structure with new support beams, a shear wall system and additional concrete piles.
The structural upgrades were necessary to support a 14th story amenity level being added to the building. The amenity level will include a pool, a lounge with an outdoor fireplace, a bocce ball, court with fitness room, a dog run and a landscaped roof deck.
Other building amenities will be found in its basement, which will include a large screening room, two media rooms, a computer lounge, a musical practice space with recording booth, a dog wash room, a laundry/dry cleaning valet and storage. A separate storage area for bicycles will connect to a workshop on the first floor via a staircase with a bike ramp. This workshop will include a part and supply vending machine, work stands and digital media resources. The first floor will also include a coffee/media lounge.
The building’s age presented a challenge to the Momentum Construction, as Coldea notes that a number of hazardous materials needed to be completely abated and removed before work could proceed. The Millennium’s location in downtown Chicago also required the company to have an extensive safety plan in place.
Fortunately for Momentum, all of the subcontractors on the project have extensive experience on projects of this nature. “We use all local subcontractors and consultants,” Krivor says.
Many of the subcontractors also worked on a hotel project located directly next door to the Millennium site. “That made things a little easier and cut out a lot of surprises,” Coldea says, adding that the two buildings were at one point connected by a pedestrian bridge.
‘Focusing on Integrity’
Krivor co-founded DLC Residential with his brother Russ in 2004. The company initially developed condo conversion projects because shifting to the multi-family rental market 10 years ago.
Since then, DLC Residential has developed and built projects in Chicago as well as in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Minneapolis, Orlando and Denver markets.
“By focusing on integrity, cost controls and careful market research, DLC Residential creates tangible assets and real cash flow, resulting in viable investments and industry-leading returns,” the company adds.