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5 Black Men Lead Development Of New South Shore High-Rise ‘For The Community’ In Chicago

5 Black Men Lead Development Of New South Shore High-Rise ‘For The Community’ In Chicago

Jemal King, a real estate investor and a former police officer, is the driving force behind a new $40 million high-rise development in Chicago’s South Shore. The development company, Model of Transformation, consists of five Black men — Mark Beaufort, Damen Stuart, Gerald Williams and Johnny Mullins.

“The five of us all have a special gift, that we have a special talent,” King told ABC7 Chicago.

They are working on “The Xchange,” a luxury building located at 72nd Street and Exchange Avenue. It will overlook Lake Michigan with its 17 stories and 120 units. The building will also include four to eight commercial spaces, which will feature fine dining restaurants.

King hopes the project can serve as a symbol of success in the community.

“The one thing that I want a kid to know 100 years from now, when they walk past, that this building was developed by five men who just believed that all things was possible,” he said.

The real estate investor wants to avoid rent gouging and make the development inclusive of the local community.

“We’re gonna keep rent competitive to what’s already there in area, you know, especially from the Hyde Park area, South Shore area,” King said. “We’re not trying to rent gouge. We want this development to be for the community.” 

King is a former police officer. He started investing in real estate after his dreams of going to the NFL came to a close. 

“I said to myself that just because I didn’t make it to the NFL did not mean that the vision and the dream I had, taking care of my family, that didn’t have to stop,” King said.

He is also working on exposing children from the neighborhood to programs centered on architecture, development and entrepreneurship.

The Xchange is expected to be completed in late 2025.

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