Recent Activities
at James Kaplan Companies, LLC

It’s the year 2021. There’s a global pandemic going on which has dramatically altered the landscape. It’s been a pretty good run, so maybe a little sooner than planned, it’s a good time to wind things up and take a breath before moving on to the next great adventures.

I’ve sold a number of the properties developed and managed over the years, retaining a few core assets and partnership interests in a small number of other diversified real estate investments. I’ll continue to teach, and continue to make myself available for VERY select situations which may offer a challenge or “feel good” opportunity.

Thanks to all I’ve met and worked with along the way. I always said (and meant) that the best part of the business was the relationships I’ve been fortunate enough to develop and maintain. Happy trails, ’til we meet again

Past assignments of interest

  • Jim completed a “Broker’s Opinion of Value” report for a private shopping center owner faced with an impending foreclosure action. Not to be confused with an appraisal, a Broker Opinion of Value (“BOV”) is an educated “best guess” as to a commercial property’s current market value based upon an assessment of market and property conditions that affect the value of a commercial property.
    A primary purpose of this BOV was to contest statements made within an appraisal performed by an out-of-state real estate appraisal company secured by a special servicing agent. Presented as evidence to the Circuit Court of Cook County, the report substantiated the owner’s claims of value and facilitated a more advantageous solution in the action brought forward
  • Jim was chosen to teach “Discovering Commercial Real Estate” by the National Association of Realtors. The three-hour course is designed to educate licensed real estate practioners on the basics of the commercial business and is offered on a national level through local realtor boards.
  • Jim Kaplan moderated a panel at a gathering of The Chicago Real Estate Council. The panel “The Wal-Mart Effect” discussed Wal-Mart’s expansion with super centers and the new small store concept within Chicago’s neighborhoods, and featured members of Chicago’s development and lending community as well as Alderman James Cappleman of the city of Chicago. The event drew over 150 members of CREC and their guests.
  • Jim Kaplan moderated a panel at a gathering of The Urban Land Institute. The panel, “Fill me in on Urban Infill … A Chicago Retail Property Market Update”, featured members of Chicago’s development and retailing community and drew over 200 members and guests.
  • Jim Kaplan moderated a panel at a gathering of The Chicago Real Estate Council. The panel “RETAIL—FLYING UNDER THE RADAR Trying to do right in a world Gone Wrong” drew over 200 members and guests.
  • Jim participated as a panelist at a gathering of over 250 at a meeting of the Chicago Real Estate Council. The panel was entitled “Retail:  Don’t Stop Believin’”
    2009 CREC panel
  • Jim was a featured panelist at the ICSC RetailGreen Conf & Trade Expo in Hollywood, CA.
  • Jim conceived and helped the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) plan a new seminar titled “Retail Real Estate for Economic Development Officials.” The seminar made its national debut in Chicago in October of 2008 and was “rolled out” to other major market cities in 2009 and beyond.
  • Jim Kaplan was retained as a consultant to a major Chicago based financial institution to provide expert testimony and advocacy before a north suburban plan commission and city council with respect to the feasibility and impact of a proposed wealth management and retail services office.
  • Jim addressed a gathering of over 100 economic development officials at the Annual Conference of the Illinois Development Council. The presentation addressed "Retail Development as Economic Development."
  • Jim served on an advisory committee working on an informational booklet addressing economic development with an emphasis on retail property development. The workbook was a joint effort between the Metropolitan Planning Council and The International Council of Shopping Centers, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Campaign for Sensible Growth.


707 Skokie Boulevard, Suite 600 • Northbrook, Illinois 60062 • Tel: 847.486.8100 • Email:

International Council of Shopping Centers Member of
International Council
of Shopping Centers

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