Chances are, if you’ve taken a drive through Bronzeville recently, the name “Jacob da Builder” sounds somewhat familiar. Our partner, Frank Montro sat down with Jacob Dochee so we could get a feel for how he’s changing the historic Bronzeville housing market.
A lot of people say I should go up North because my look is a nice North Side look. But this is already happening all over up there. What am I gonna prove? I like this area because it has a lot of potential. I’m from the area, down at 49th. My father owned a lot of buildings in Bronzeville—hundreds of homes—doing REOs in the 1960s. He was buying Greystones for $2,000, $1,500. If he bought a few, the mayor would give him extra lots to redevelop for a buck.
Other developers get mad at me for selling cheap, calling me up saying I’m driving the market down. It’s not really about that for me. I believe in selling homes to families and leaving equity in there. That wasn’t happening when the market crashed. My competitors are selling similar homes for $200,000 more than mine. They sit on the market longer, but do eventually sell. I believe in leaving $100,000 to $150,000 in homes instead of maxing out and sucking everything out of a deal.
I love it when people move in these homes and start crying. Sometimes it’s a middle-aged buyer in their first home. I did a two-flat at 7234 South Lafayette. The buyer was 80 years old and never owned a home in her life. She bought it with her daughter, who moved in upstairs.
Apartment hunting can be quite the headache, especially in a city like Chicago where neighborhood is everything and so is your budget. To spare you the cost of anymore pain, we’ve put together a list for those who say “no” to anything more than $1500.
900 N Lake Shore Dr Apt 2301 — $1500
Who says corners are for only for timeouts? It just so happens that they’re also for studio apartment with views of the Lake Front.
1400 N Lake Shore Dr Apt 2L — $1500
Here’s the deal: $1,500 with a 13-month lease. This is one of those charming, vintage 1 bed/1 bath apartment along Lake Shore Drive that has a grocery store, dry cleaners, a salon, party room, a laundry room, a gym, and a rooftop, all at your convenience.
4048 W Patterson Ave Unit 1 — $1500
This Irving Park location gives us beauty and space on oak and maple floors. There’s a fireplace in the living room, and heats included in the rent.
1911 W Montrose Ave Apt 1 — $1400
You’ve seen it here first. A vintage, Ravenswood 1-bedroom apartment, doused in original woodwork. There’s one big living room with a separate dining room, a useful sun room, and plenty of closet space. The heats going to be included in the rent, which is always perfect when you think about the brutality of a Chicago winter.
3342 W 19th St Unit 3W — $1300
Do they come more beautiful than this one? A spacious, modern apartment, 2-bedrooms, 2-full bathrooms, and a balcony.
400 W Deming Pl Apt 1E — $1300
A 1st-floor studio in Lincoln Park with hardwood floors, two walk-in closets, a breakfast bar, and an updated kitchen new appliances. Heat, gas, basic cable, water and storage comes with the rent!
5402 N Kenmore Ave Apt 3W — $1300
Gutted and revamped, this courtyard building in Edgewater features a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom due on the top floor. You’ll get a chef’s kitchen, and in-unit washer/dryer, accompanied by hardwood floors. Cannot leave out the storage and private deck.
2401 S Oakley Ave Unit 203 — $1200
This is a sunny 2 bedroom, 1 Bathroom Condo, with a very large, back deck. To make matters better, it’s only a short distance from the center of everything great about Pilsen.
3253 W Lawrence Ave Apt 3B — $1200
This 2-bedroom condo with 1-full bath was recently rehabbed. Outside of a great location and its modern updates, there’s a washer and dryer inside.
639-655 W Grace St, Chicago — $1180 – $1280
An apartment here will run you as low as $1180 and up to $1280, which by far, isn’t a bad buy at all. Enjoy an updated kitchen, hardwood floors, a 24-hr fitness center, and the East Lakeview neighborhood.