Catherine Courts Apartments
498 Units– Chicago, IL
$1,000,000+ over list price



The owners of this complex had two simple requests.  First, achieve absolute top dollar for the property.  Second, do it as quick as possible.


Charged with the assignment, Mr. Esselman led a team to immediately begin working on the elaborate color marketing brochure and advertising in the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and Crains.  Additionally, an aggressive phone campaign was implemented to ensure that any potential buyer that might have an interest in this property was contacted.


Working quickly, five offers were generated within 10% of the asking price.  The team qualified each buyer's ability to finance the deal and get it closed.  It was decided to allow three of the parties to resubmit their best offer.


Through pitting these buyers against one another, the ownership was abe to walk from the closing table with more than $1,000,000 over the asking price.



Case Studies of Past Deals


The following case studies give examples of how Penn Real Estate is dedicated to serving its clients with in depth market knowledge and a commitment to acheive the best results for them.

CCM Plaza
25,000 sf Strip Center
Involved from design 
thru lease-up

When a local businessman decided to develop this 25,000 sf retail center, he turned to Mr. Esselman and Mr. List to help with everything from design to securing tenants.


Utilizing their contacts and marketing Esselman helped the owner to sign leases with national, regional, and local tenants.  The demand for the property was immense and allowed the owner to be selective as to which tenants would have the opportunity to locate in his center.


As this was the owner’s first development, he relied heavily on the expertise of Mr. Esselman to determine acceptable lease terms and placement of the tenants within the center.


The property was 100% leased within a couple of months of construction completion at  approximately $2.00 psf over the owner’s estimates.



56 Unit Apartment Portfolio
Oak Forest, IL
Creative Structure and 


Joe Esselman of Penn Real Estate was hired to market and sell a 56 unit apartment portfolio in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.  In the midst of an historic lending crisis, he was able to secure a buyer at 100% of the list price.


Throughout the 5 month marketing process he kept the seller informed of not only the activity on the properties, but also the market in general.  The onslaught of negative real estate news did not deter him from aggressively exposing the property and mining his personal network of buyers to find the right purchaser for these buildings.


After the contract was signed he stayed intimately involved to ensure the transaction successfully made it to the closing table.  When the buyers asked for a rather large credit due to the results of their inspection, Mr Esselman negotiated fiercely on the owner’s behalf and reduced the eventual credit to a fraction of the original request.


Understanding ownership’s individual goals, he was able to find the ideal buyer, secure their interest, and create a unique deal structure that met the seller’s needs.


10 Unit Apartment Building
Beverly Neighborhood
Full price offer in 1 week.


Penn was hired by the owner of a neighborhood apartment building to sell his property.  The owner happened to be a trusted  commercial appraiser that looked to Mr Esselman for his expertise and guidance on pricing and ultimately the sale.



Within the first couple of days, there was one offer and another interested party.  Understanding the motivations of the buyers, Mr Esselman was able to secure an offer from the ultimate buyer at 100% of the asking price and 20% higher than the next closest offer.


It was a testament to the importance of local market knowledge and the ability to convince others of that value.


Commercial property in Chicago and Apartment Building in Glenwood
Assisted Client with 1031 Exchange



Upon a recommendation for a local attorney, Mr Esselman was hired to help a client sell a property that had been in her family for decades.


Having inherited the property and not being involved in the real estate business, the family looked to Mr Esselman to advise them on how best to maximize this asset.


After finding a buyer willing to pay cash for the property, the question came up as to what to do with the proceeds.  As the property had been owned and debt free for quite some time, the client was facing a significant capital gains expense.


Taking the time to understand the cleints needs, Mr Esselman found an apartment building for them to invest their funds as well as a reputable management firm to handle the operations.


The replacement property allowed her to avoid capital gains and at the same time have income security. 



Bank owned REO properties
Chicago, IL & Evergreen Park, IL
Accurate pricing led to ultimate sale




During and after the real estate collapse, banks were stuck with numerous REO properties that needed to be disposed of.


An affiliate of one of the largest banks in Illinois selected Penn Real Estate to represent them in the disposition of two troubled properties.


Working with the bank to determine why the properties had not sold with prior brokers, Penn implemented a new pricing and marketing strategy designed to attract the right buyers.


Once exposed to the right investors at the right price, Penn secured offers that were right in line with its analysis of the property's value.


Both properties sold and Penn will likely be handling future dispositions for them.

10,000 sf Retail Property
Oak Lawn, IL
Maximized excess space for business owner

The owners of this property, successful opticians, hired Mr. Esselman and Mr. List to help maximize the building.


After several discusions and a thorough understanding of the doctors' needs, Esselman and List proposed an idea that would allow them to consolidate their business and lease the excess space to another user.


The end result was that the doctors were able to keep their location, consolidate into a proper amount of space, secure a national credit tenant, and refinance the property to better fit their needs at the time.

Penn Real Estate     10540 S Western Ave. #403     (773) 238-1500