JDP Launches Illinois Student Housing Project

ICON will serve students attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus and is scheduled for completion by August 2021.
ICON. Image courtesy of JDP

ICON, a student housing development two blocks from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, has broken ground. Jackson Dearborn Partners (JDP) forecasts the $28.4 million, 276-bed ICON to be complete by August 2021, welcoming first move-ins the following month.

ICON is being developed by JDP in partnership with construction and development services firm Sub4 Development and property management company Green Street Realty. 

Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic was our biggest challenge,” Ryan Tobias, partner & co-founder of JDP, told Multi-Housing News. “Capital markets were essentially frozen for a while during the height of the crisis. We were fortunate that we were well underway with our lender. And while there were some delays, ultimately they worked with us to get the loan closed during very trying times. Housing construction was deemed essential in Illinois during the stay-at-home order, so work continued on the site.

“And again, we were fortunate to have a lender that saw the strengths of the project and sponsorship team, and was willing to look ahead at a brighter future when the property opens for business in fall 2021.”

Unit variety

Situated at 309 E. Springfield Ave., the 163-unit ICON will offer a blend of studio, one-, two-, three and four-bedroom residences, all featuring bed-bath parity. Among the more high-profile amenities is a third-floor amenity deck with outdoor grilling areas, fireplaces and lounge space. JDP tried to ensure a disproportionate number of studio through two-bedroom units.

The firm prioritized “staying away from too many four-bedroom units, which is somewhat of a saturated unit type, and may be less desirable in a post-COVID world,” Tobias said.

The equity was placed through online investment platform CrowdStreet, and used qualified opportunity zone funds. The combination of long-term hold strategy and tax benefits resulted in a full allocation of funds within 28 minutes of the investment’s opening. Alpha Capital CRE furnished construction financing. Three months ago, a University of Illinois graduate recalled his co-founding of the firm now known as Waterton in the middle 1990s.