Laurel Lipkin is the Principal of LL Consulting, a 20-year old Chicago-based firm specializing in affordable and low-income housing, planning, development, community revitalization, urban design, feasibility studies, marketing, fundraising, resource development, underwriting, and program design, management and evaluation. 

Laurel brings over twenty years of experience with projects in urban, suburban and rural areas.  She has worked in all areas of the City of Chicago and with community residents on the north, south and west sides of the city, with public housing residents, block clubs, community-based and faith-based organizations.  Laurel brings sensitivity to working with racially, culturally, and economically diverse groups.

She has worked with non-profit organizations, for-profit developers, individuals, state and local governmental agencies and bodies.  In 1992 she co-founded Women in Planning + Development.

As an Assistant Commissioner with the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Laurel co-managed the 40-person staff of the Neighborhood Services Division.  She designed and implemented new programs and projects, developed policy, established divisional goals, reviewed development proposals, and coordinated and implemented planning initiatives.  She managed the design development, site planning and identification of financial and other resources.  She represented the department and Mayor at community forums and on committees and task forces and acted as liaison with other divisions and city departments.  She coordinated activities and programs with government agencies and elected officials. 

As a Housing Development Officer with the Illinois Housing Development Authority, she reviewed, analyzed and made underwriting recommendations for financing multi-family developments, evaluated proposals for financial feasibility, soundness and conformance with legal, administrative, and other standards and policies.  She directed the approval process from initiation through final closing and coordinated staff functions including architectural review, market analysis, mortgage credit review and loan disbursements.  She made presentations on programs to developers, community groups, government representatives and elected officials.

Services/Skills Include

•Project Design, Management and Evaluation

•Organizational Development

•Focus Group Design and Implementation

•Meeting Facilitation

•Market Research

•Real Estate Finance/Underwriting

•Strategic Planning

•Fundraising/Resource Development

•Site Selection

•Marketing/Development of Marketing Strategies

  1. Community Development and Revitalization Strategies

  2. Consulting to Foundations (including developing grantmaking guidelines and evaluating funding requests)

When an assignment requires additional skills, LL Consulting partners with individuals and firms who bring an equal level of commitment and quality to their work.  Laurel works with a network of experienced architects, contractors, construction managers, bankers, planners, designers, attorneys and marketing professionals to assist with the development and/or implementation of projects.

LL Consulting anticipates specific challenges and identifies the best possible team to meet a client’s needs, works towards solutions that reflect the client's ideas and concerns, and introduces non-traditional approaches in the planning and implementation of projects. 

Laurel Lipkin, Principal of LL Consulting, received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois.  She received additional technical training in real estate finance and real estate appraisal. 


Margot and Harold Schiff Apartments