New Discussion Paper Venture Development Paper Released by DL3 Capital


CHICAGO, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Leon I. Walker, managing partner,  DL3 Capital, has released a discussion paper designed to share his experiences in an emerging field of real estate development that he calls "Venture Development." The document, titled, "Venture Development: an Opportunity for Private Investors to Drive Concordant Change in the American Inner City," is available for review at

Venture Development is a modern, sustainable economic development strategy through which equity investors can pursue positive holistic change in urban neighborhoods, while earning competitive risk-adjusted financial returns.

DL3 has successfully implemented this practice by developing real estate projects that have helped revitalize Chicago's urban communities. Its projects are more than just bricks and mortar. They are designed to provide an economic stimulus that ultimately lifts economic prospects and quality-of-life for local residents.

"Nationally, we are seeing an increasing number of projects driven by Venture Development principles, and we believe this points to a growing opportunity for municipalities, institutions and philanthropic stakeholders to join together with private developers and investors to equitably transform and speed the recovery of rising urban neighborhoods," says Walker.

Through the discussion paper, Walker shares his investment philosophy and approach with others who recognize that investing in urban neighborhoods can be financially rewarding in the long run, while providing attractive social impact returns in the short run.

Based on his own experiences in the field, the paper explores the conditions that signal when a community in a state of economic stagnation could pivot toward a future with greater local economic opportunity. The paper describes DL3's perspective on five phases of neighborhood economic development, the best entry point for investors, and the concept of a "risk premium" that often saddles disinvested communities. Supporting case studies are provided including lessons learned from DL3's Englewood Square project, which in partnership with the City of Chicago, brought Whole Foods, Chipotle and Starbucks to the Englewood community of Chicago's South Side.

"My community development work has been concentrated in neighborhoods that rarely attract unsubsidized private equity capital – but where others see poverty, blight and risk, I recognize that under the right circumstances, great opportunity exists for meaningful and rewarding investments," Walker adds.

Walker, who was raised on Chicago's South Side, is an experienced corporate real estate professional who is passionate about revitalizing Chicago's underserved communities. In his community development work, Walker has been involved in structuring over $100 million in New Markets Tax Credit transactions.   He is involved in many community initiatives including the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and he serves on the advisory board of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University and the government relations committee of the International Council of Shopping Centers(ICSC).

DL3 Capital is a general partner of DL3 Realty, a commercial real estate company known for its commitment to Chicago's urban neighborhoods. Among its many projects are Roseland Medical Center, Monterey Professional Center and Englewood Square.  Current projects include a Jewel/Osco grocery store in Chicago'sWoodlawn neighborhood and the University of Illinois Mile Square Health Center in South Shore.  DL3 developments have won numerous awards including the LISC-Chicago Most Outstanding Development Award in 2009 and 2017.