Affordable Chicago

Jacob da Builder takes Bronzeville by storm

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.

The real estate developer, in an interview with Chicago Mag talks about his upcoming projects and how he sees Bronevilles future delevopment:

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.



4330 S. Evans-Hasani Steele Presents Bronzeville Condo Video

4330 S. Evans-Hasani Steele presents this Bronzeville Condo


According to Chicago Magazine:


The Guide to Bronzeville: 14 Great Things to Do


Ain’t She Sweet Café
[1] Hunker down with a Reuben panini or Caribbean jerk chicken wrap and enjoy the local art adorning the walls.526 E. 43rd St., 773-373-3530,

Bronzeville Boutique
[2] Fringed leather shorts and rhinestone-embellished maxi dresses are among the attention-grabbing attire at this women’s wear boutique. 4259 S. King Dr., 773-891-4473,

Small Bronzeville map
Click the image to view the full map.

Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles
[3] Expect a good hour’s wait on Sundays for the titular meal or other soul food entrées, with all the potatoey sides you desire. 3947 S. King Dr., 773-536-3300,

Ellis Park
[4] Outfitted with tennis courts and sprawling green soccer fields, this park is also home to the Gospel Music Festival every June. 37th St. and S. Cottage Grove

Gallery Guichard
[5] Co-owners Frances and Andre Guichard curate contemporary works from the African diaspora. 3521 S. King Dr., 773-791-7003,

Harold Washington Cultural Center
[6] This arts center, built on the site of the historic Regal Theater, has its own in-house musical company, Broadway in Bronzeville. 4701 S. King Dr., 773-373-1900,

Ida B. Wells-Barnett House
[7] The civil rights activist lived in this Romanesque Revival house from 1919 to 1929. It is not open to the public; there is a tribute to her outside. 3624 S. King Dr.

Jokes and Notes
[8] The 150-seat venue features four nights of standup, improv, and sketch comedy, including an open mike on Wednesdays. 4641 S. King Dr., 773-373-3390,

Little Black Pearl
[9] Explore the galleries at this massive community arts center and purchase affordable art created by young people in the area. 1060 E. 47th St., 773-285-1211,

Mies van der Rohe Tour
[10] You’ll find 20 of the architect’s buildings at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he headed the architecture department from 1938 to 1958. Here’s a full map of the architect’s work at IIT, via archdaily.

Mother Butter’s Popcorn and Confectionary
[11] Bananas Foster, Cheezy BBQ, and Bacon Cheddar are just a few of the sweet and savory flavors available at this family-owned shop. 17 W. 35th St., 773-548-7677,

Norman’s Bistro
[12] The American Creole hot spot serves up shrimp and lobster pot pie, braised short ribs, and Caribbean grilled chicken (pictured). 1001 E. 43rd St., 773-966-5821,

Room 43
[13] Take in the smooth tunes of the Hyde Park Jazz Society, which meets every Sunday night at this intimate club. 1039–1043 E. 43rd St., 773-285-2222,

Stephen A. Douglas Tomb
[14] Visit the pristinely manicured mausoleum of the Illinois senator who lost the presidential race to Abraham Lincoln. 636 E. 35th St.


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