About Us
First Development Corporation

Company Profile

First Development Corporation ("FDC") has been in business since 1978 and is primarily a developer of specialty and convenience shopping centers in the Chicagoland area. FDC develops properties primarily for the personal portfolios of its principals and is compensated on a fee basis. FDC has developed a number of new strip shopping centers formerly anchored by White Hen Pantry, a former Chicago area convenience grocery store that was one of the largest convenience store chains in Chicagoland and bought by 7-Eleven.

FDC has also re-developed in-city street-front specialty retail strips in Chicago's upscale Lake View neighborhood. We also act as a land assembler and re-developer. By example, we purchase key parcels, then assemble adjacent properties to create larger development opportunities, and assist with whatever municipal approvals and/or re-zoning is required for the parcels. Recent efforts resulted in development of new freestanding Target and Walgreens stores in the Chicago suburbs of Villa Park and Hillside. Our company is also in the process of subdividing and completing site improvements for a commercial parcel of 4.545 acres fronting on a new exit ramp for the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) in the Chicago suburb of Alsip, Illinois. One of the parcels will likely be developed with a new motel/hotel facility and another with a strip shopping center and full service sitdown restaurant that FDC would develop on a build-to-suit basis. FDC also embarked upon its first residential lot development. FDC now has in inventory 11 fully improved single family home sites for sale. FDC has also purchased and successfully cleaned-up several former gas station sites, which have been developed into convenience retail centers.

Walter Daniels is president of FDC and is also the owner of Walter Daniels Construction Company, Inc., a commercial general contractor since 1968 in the Chicagoland area, who has built or remodeled all FDC shopping centers, and whose primary business is building restaurants for clients such as McDonald's, Chi-Chi's, Bob Evans, Wendy's, Denny's, Big Apple Bagels, Applebee's, Caribou Coffee, Popeye's Chicken and Burger King, as well as various on going municipal construction for the City of Chicago at O'Hare Airport, both restaurant and non-restaurant, as well as strip retail centers, and facilities for local banks, Little City Foundation and numerous municipal facilities. He is a member of the Northwest Builder's Association.

James V. Persino is vice president of FDC and an Illinois licensed real estate broker who owns Jasper Realty Corporation. Since 1971, he has been actively involved in property management, lease negotiations, brokerage and development. He has completed millions of dollars in transactions with such clients as Payless ShoeSource, Radio Shack Corporation, Bedding Experts, New York Life Insurance Company, Moore Business Forms, General American Life Insurance Company, White Hen Pantry, Baskin-Robbins, Caribou Coffee, FlatTop Grill, Ultimate Exposure, H&R Block, Great Clips and Einstein's Noah Bagels. He is also past president and founding member of the Chicagoland Association of Shopping Center Owners (CASCO), which represents many Chicago area strip shopping center owners. He is past president of the Building Owners and Manager's Association (BOMA) of Suburban Chicago and holds the Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation from BOMI. Mr. Persino is also a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors (NICAR) and is chairman of the Economic Development Commission of the Village of Lincolnwood, a suburb north of Chicago.

Angela Ortega has been with the company since 1986 and is our property manager and administrative assistant. She handles all accounts payable/receivable, monthly and annual property reports, tenant and lender relations, available properties information including maintaining multiple listing updates, in addition to clerical duties. Her duties also include occasional property showings to prospective tenants and periodic property inspections. Angela oversees our custodians' duties to be sure all maintenance work is performed to our high standards and that of our fine tenants. Ms. Ortega is our liaison with our property maintenance contractors such as snow plowers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC companies and suppliers. She also interacts with our insurance agent, attorneys, accountants, environmental consultants, architects, engineers and other professionals.


6316 North Northwest Highway, Chicago, IL 60631-1696, Phone: 773-775-5005, Fax: 773-775-9684