Jack Guthman’s practice encompasses a broad range of activity before state and local boards, commissions, the Illinois General Assembly, and the Congress of the United States. During his career, he has represented clients in hundreds of negotiations with and public hearings before government bodies. His experience includes 18 years as a member of the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, the last 13 of those years as its Chairman.
Jack has a wide-ranging real estate practice, in which a substantial portion of his work has consisted of representing developers requiring zoning changes and other relief as a precondition to the development process. He has acted as zoning counsel for the developers of more than 50 million square feet of major Chicago properties.
The scope of Jack’s activities includes landmark, vacation, dedication and easement, traffic and transportation, water and sewer, aviation, and legislative matters as they relate to development in every sector of Chicago and in municipalities throughout the metropolitan area.
Jack has also spearheaded a host of pro bono assignments in the land-use area on behalf of a wide array of not-for-profit institutions.
LLB, 1963, Yale Law School
BA, 1960, Northwestern University
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC AFFILIATIONS
Chicago Association of Realtors Hall of Fame (1992)
J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
- Adjunct Professor, 1989–present
American Bar Foundation
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Jack has been awarded an AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability. He was named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list and is a Leading Lawyer in Illinois. In addition, Jack has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. Jack is also ranked as a top lawyer in the area of Real Estate–Zoning and Land Use in the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Jack was named the Best Lawyers’ 2012 Chicago Land Use & Zoning Law Lawyer of the Year.
SPEECHES AND PUBLICATIONS
Jack has authored many publications on land-use development topics, including the following:
“Zoning Issues: A Developer's Perspective,” Commercial Real Estate (IICLE, 2007) (with co-authors Joseph P. Gattuso and Scott Borstein).
“Processing a Land Use Application in the City of Chicago,” Illinois Land Use Law (IICLE, 2007) (with co-authors Joseph P. Gattuso and Scott Borstein).
“The Government Approval Process,” Construction Owner’s Handbook of Property Development (John Wiley & Sons, 1992).
“The Government Approval Process,” Professionals’ Guide to Commercial Property Development (Dow Jones-Irwin, 1988).
Jack also speaks widely at professional meetings and in academic settings on zoning and land-use issues.
Projects that gained approval under Jack’s leadership include:
- Substantial developments such as Hines’ 1.4 million-square-foot office tower at 300 N. La Salle Street; 700 and 900 N Michigan Avenue; Citicorp Center; Dearborn Park; and Cityfront Center.
- Representation of Songy Partners, Ltd., of Atlanta, Georgia, in their conversion of the Chicago Athletic Association building (situated in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District) into a hotel.
- Unique situations such as the Miglin-Beitler Tower, which, when proposed, was to be the world’s tallest building.
- Representation of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Spertus Institute, the Chicago History Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Chicago Orchestral Association in the landmarks and zoning processes relating to their recent expansions.
- Gaining Planned Development Ordinance and Lakefront Protection Ordinance approval for Chicago’s Millennium Park, including a 1,500-seat theater within the Park, on behalf of the City of Chicago and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
Jack’s representation of public bodies include
- The Chicago World’s Fair – 1992 Corporation and later the Chicago World’s Fair – 1992 Authority
- The City of Chicago
- Cook County
- the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.