Powerhouse couple Nick and Marie DiCosola are redefining Chicago’s boutique real estate scene
January 9, 2021
Picture this: It’s 5am and you’re waking up to head to the gym. Your day is packed with everything it takes to manage your bustling business, which means client meetings, site visits, conference calls and at the last minute, you have to step in for a sick employee. Your wife wakes up at the same time, is responsible for the accounting and management of the business, working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep operations running smoothly. She’s also a real estate agent with Jameson Sotheby's Internation Realty currently promoting the sale of a current development while also searching for the next project.
Now, add four full-time kids, ages 9-12, who are heavily involved in school activities and sports, a home, a marriage and the responsibility of owning one of Chicago’s best boutique real estate construction and development companies, and you’ll only begin to scratch the surface of what a day in the life of the DiCosola family looks like.
And, they love every minute of it.
Nick and Marie DiCosola have been married for 14 years, 10 of which have all been spent partnering in the family business, DiCosola Group. In 2003, they started a construction company which focused on high-end custom homes and in 2012, they expanded and rebranded to become DiCosola Group, to include commercial construction as well as development and consulting. DG specializes in residential and commercial construction and development, expertly guiding clients and investors through every phase of the project. Nick has an extensive background in construction as a general contractor and is passionate about working with clients to improve and reimagine spaces while minimizing risk and maximizing value. Whether it’s a residential or commercial real estate project, the DiCosola’s have an innate talent for being able to find, assess and realize value and opportunity.
Construction has been in Nick’s blood since he was a boy. His father was a builder and he learned the value of doing things the right way the first time. There may be many ways to complete a project, but Nick has learned never to cut corners, even if it seems like it might save time and money; it’ll always come back to bite you. Standing strong in his convictions of quality, doing a project “right” from the beginning and offering the highest level of client service is what drives Nick. Their business is built on repeat clients and referrals, a testament to the level of care and service that DG provides.
Following the successful completion of a commercial project, a well-respected Chicago Developer hired DG to work on a complicated renovation of his personal residence, a 19th century brick two-flat, single-family home on the Southport Corridor, a project that required ingenuity, creativity and more than a little moxie, as the home sits a mere 75 feet from the elevated tracks of Chicago’s L train.
Experience, dedication and excellent communication are what set DG apart. “Our phones are never turned off. We work with our clients to complete their projects, which often means evening conversations to go over project details and decisions. We believe that our relationships with our clients is as important as the work being done,” says Marie.
Their portfolio includes complete luxury custom home builds as well as multifamily construction, law offices, health centers and more. In addition, they have experience with extensive premium home remodels, including bathroom and kitchen renovations and room additions. Their goal with DG is to create a balance of projects that span the range of their skills and expertise and that can shift with the changing market. This keeps projects fresh and fun and keeps DG up to date on new building and design trends.
Current projects include a ground-up six-story, 20-unit development, One95 Elmhurst, an exterior renovation of an office building, a full remodel of an iconic pizza restaurant in Lemont and a luxury Gold Coast condo renovation.
Marie says, “The best part of being contractors and developers is enjoying the art of the deal. You’re part broker, part investor, part visionary. Putting the puzzle together is as rewarding as completing a project for a client. We look back at completed projects with pride knowing our work will stand the test of time.”
The roots of the family business run deep, and it’s important to the DiCosola’s that their children understand what it means to work hard and work well. Anytime the kids are not involved in their own activities, they are on the job sites helping Nick and Marie and their crew clean and organize. “Keeping them involved and aware of what we do as a family is very important to us,” says Marie.
With another full day behind them—school work finished, kids organized for the next day, house chores completed—their favorite part of the evening begins. You can often find Nick and Marie sneaking a few precious moments together in the backyard, sharing stories and insights about their day, their clients, their business, and taking in the lake views (yes, that’s right, Marie scored their family a sweet, relatively unknown, lakeside sanctuary in the Hinsdale burbs) while Nick, a cigar aficionado, takes a few slow puffs, eager to do it all again tomorrow.