At Our Core, We Believe In:

People

With every decision and opportunity we consider the needs of our employees, clients, and communities we serve.

Service

We are wholly committed to delivering the best possible experience, with each and every interaction.

Excellence

Growth through quality is the best way to do business. We aim high and hold ourselves accountable for great work.

Integrity

To be trusted, you must do the right thing in a reliable way. It’s a trait we expect in our people and deliver in our work.

125+

Years in Business

8,000

Multifamily Units Owned

$600 Million

Invested in the Last 5 Years

The People Behind the Portfolio

Todd Bancroft

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Ed Polich

Executive Vice President of Real Estate

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Blas Puzon

Chief Investment Officer

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James Hayes

Chief Financial Officer

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Christine Ramsey

Chief Administrative Officer

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William T. Barry

Senior Vice President, Commercial Finance Group

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Paul Lueken

Chief Executive Officer, Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.

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Anthony F. Kramer

Executive Vice President

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Julie F. Stevlingson, CPM®

Senior Vice President, Director of Management Services

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"The staff is very professional and they continue to update, upgrade and improve the overall living experience."

-James S., Homestead Resident

1893

Established in 1893 by Arthur W. Draper and Adolph F. Kramer, Draper and Kramer, Incorporated, quickly became known as one of Chicago’s premier mortgage banking and residential management firms. A pioneer in the real estate industry, the firm promoted homeownership and provided residential financing during a critical period of growth for the city.

1900s

As the advent of the automobile made a new urban-suburban lifestyle possible, Draper and Kramer took the unique step of opening branch offices to address the broadening geographic reach of its real estate brokerage clientele.

1910s

The decade that saw America’s entry into World War I brought scarcities and labor shortages, but it also brought a shift toward apartment living to Chicago. This transition marked a strategic point in Draper and Kramer’s history, as the firm earned a reputation in the city as a developer, as well as a mortgage banker.

1920s

The building boom of the 1920s saw more development in Chicago than in all the preceding years of the city’s history. As office and residential buildings grew in both height and number, Draper and Kramer expanded by pursuing opportunities on both the brokerage and property management sides of its business.

1930s

During the 1930s, the social backdrop of the Great Depression, the New Deal and the Works Progress Administration influenced Draper and Kramer’s vision for urban renewal and development, which would shape its business for decades to come.

1940s

Adolph F. Kramer’s son, Ferd Kramer, pushed President Roosevelt’s New Deal promise for low-rent housing in the early 1940s before heading to Washington, D.C., to serve as a top housing official for the federal government during World War II.

1950s

Ferd Kramer, now president of Draper and Kramer, began work on resurrecting the city’s deteriorating South Side through a 70-acre mixed-use lakefront development called Lake Meadows, which would eventually become the nation’s model for urban renewal. Draper and Kramer served as adviser on the development and was its original property manager before ultimately acquiring the community in the 1980s. The firm still owns and manages Lake Meadows today.

1960s

Draper and Kramer played a pivotal role in the development of Prairie Shores, a South Side development near Lake Meadows. Prairie Shores was one of Chicago’s first integrated housing project and set a standard for urban renewal projects across the nation during the mid-20th century.

1970s

With the rise of the suburbs and growth of automobile culture in the United States, shopping malls began to be built outside of urban centers. Draper and Kramer became a pivotal player in the development of regional malls throughout Chicago, including Old Orchard, Oakbrook Center and many more.

1980s

Draper and Kramer developed numerous office buildings throughout the country, including the firm’s own corporate headquarters, 33 West Monroe. This 843,000-square-foot, Class A office building in Chicago’s Loop was one of the first stepped-atrium building in the United States.

1990s

Draper and Kramer recognized the changing market dynamic that made apartment-to-condo conversions an area of opportunity, and quickly emerged as a leader in the space. This work gave the firm a deep understanding of value-add renovations – an expertise that has contributed to the company’s success in today’s market as it acquires and repositions existing multifamily communities.

2000s

Heading into its third century of business, Draper and Kramer switched gears and began pursuing ground-up residential and mixed-use developments in markets coast-to-coast. The firm also expanded its residential mortgage division in 2008 with the acquisition of 1st Advantage Mortgage, which operates today as Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.

2010s

Acquisitions and redevelopments became an even larger driving force for Draper and Kramer in the 2010s as it took a new strategic direction by consolidating its portfolio into a new investment fund. The company’s commercial and residential finance divisions also rose to record production numbers, hitting $6 billion annually.

Today

The history of Draper and Kramer continues as the firm plans its next century of business and builds on its legacy of growing and evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of the real estate landscape.

A Brief History of Draper and Kramer

1893

One of the first Draper and Kramer offices with several people in period clothing sitting at desks and reviewing paperwork.

Our Founding

Established in 1893 by Arthur W. Draper and Adolph F. Kramer, Draper and Kramer, Incorporated, quickly became known as one of Chicago’s premier mortgage banking and residential management firms. A pioneer in the real estate industry, the firm promoted homeownership and provided residential financing during a critical period of growth for the city.

1900s

Early Years

As the advent of the automobile made a new urban-suburban lifestyle possible, Draper and Kramer took the unique step of opening branch offices to address the broadening geographic reach of its real estate brokerage clientele.

1910s

Historical photograph of Chicago with the first high-rises in the background and smaller brick buildings in the foreground.

First High-Rises

The decade that saw America’s entry into World War I brought scarcities and labor shortages, but it also brought a shift toward apartment living to Chicago. This transition marked a strategic point in Draper and Kramer’s history, as the firm earned a reputation in the city as a developer, as well as a mortgage banker.

1920s

Two rows of gentlemen dressed in black ties posing for a photograph at a dinner table, black and white photo, circa 1920.

Building Boom

The building boom of the 1920s saw more development in Chicago than in all the preceding years of the city’s history. As office and residential buildings grew in both height and number, Draper and Kramer expanded by pursuing opportunities on both the brokerage and property management sides of its business.

1930s

The New Deal

During the 1930s, the social backdrop of the Great Depression, the New Deal and the Works Progress Administration influenced Draper and Kramer’s vision for urban renewal and development, which would shape its business for decades to come.

1940s

World at War

Adolph F. Kramer’s son, Ferd Kramer, pushed President Roosevelt’s New Deal promise for low-rent housing in the early 1940s before heading to Washington, D.C., to serve as a top housing official for the federal government during World War II.

1950s

Urban Renewal

Ferd Kramer, now president of Draper and Kramer, began work on resurrecting the city’s deteriorating South Side through a 70-acre mixed-use lakefront development called Lake Meadows, which would eventually become the nation’s model for urban renewal. Draper and Kramer served as adviser on the development and was its original property manager before ultimately acquiring the community in the 1980s. The firm still owns and manages Lake Meadows today.

1960s

Setting the Standard

Draper and Kramer played a pivotal role in the development of Prairie Shores, a South Side development near Lake Meadows. Prairie Shores was one of Chicago’s first integrated housing project and set a standard for urban renewal projects across the nation during the mid-20th century.

1970s

Rise of The Mall

With the rise of the suburbs and growth of automobile culture in the United States, shopping malls began to be built outside of urban centers. Draper and Kramer became a pivotal player in the development of regional malls throughout Chicago, including Old Orchard, Oakbrook Center and many more.

1980s

Office Boom

Draper and Kramer developed numerous office buildings throughout the country, including the firm’s own corporate headquarters, 33 West Monroe. This 843,000-square-foot, Class A office building in Chicago’s Loop was one of the first stepped-atrium building in the United States.

1990s

Condo Conversions

Draper and Kramer recognized the changing market dynamic that made apartment-to-condo conversions an area of opportunity, and quickly emerged as a leader in the space. This work gave the firm a deep understanding of value-add renovations – an expertise that has contributed to the company’s success in today’s market as it acquires and repositions existing multifamily communities.

2000s

A Third Century of Business

Heading into its third century of business, Draper and Kramer switched gears and began pursuing ground-up residential and mixed-use developments in markets coast-to-coast. The firm also expanded its residential mortgage division in 2008 with the acquisition of 1st Advantage Mortgage, which operates today as Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.

2010s

The Hubbard221 apartment tower seen from a distance with other buildings and skyscrapers in the foreground and background, the elevated train tracks also seen weaving between the buildings.

Record Growth

Acquisitions and redevelopments became an even larger driving force for Draper and Kramer in the 2010s as it took a new strategic direction by consolidating its portfolio into a new investment fund. The company’s commercial and residential finance divisions also rose to record production numbers, hitting $6 billion annually.

Today

The Draper and Kramer team standing together wearing hard hats in an unfinished amenity space under construction at the Aspire Residences topping off in December 2019.

The Next Chapter

The history of Draper and Kramer continues as the firm plans its next century of business and builds on its legacy of growing and evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of the real estate landscape.

We are building, furthering, and managing the communities of tomorrow.

A man in a hard hat speaks to a group touring Aspire Residences while under construction during the Topping Off ceremony.
The roof deck of 1350 North Lake Shore apartments on a clear, sunny day. The city of Chicago skyline is the background and an inviting fire pit offers warmth to the seats around it in the foreground.
Award wreath announcing Nine-Time Management Company of the Year for Draper and Kramer.
The Chicago Tribune Top Workplace award banners, wide, yellow arrows, for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
A woman swims in the blue waters of the outdoor pool at Eleven Thirty. Lounge chairs surround the pool at the apartment building rises up in the background.
Four Draper and Kramer employees smile to the camera.

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We’re always looking for people to make us better.

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Looking between two people blurred in the foreground we see a woman smiling and shaking the hand of the left foreground person.

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