UP Development, LLC

UP Development, LLC is an affordable housing development company based in Chicago and currently working across the Midwest. Our portfolio includes a wide range of projects types, different target population groups and varying communities. UPD is the newest venture of Cullen Davis, a leading developer of affordable housing whose passion to enhance housing opportunities for all led him to build a team with over 30 years of combined experience. Together, our expertise extends beyond development to include community organizing, social services, engineering, property operations, asset management, and tax credit compliance.


Our vision is to enhance and revitalize affordable housing in the Midwest.

We understand the complexity of affordable housing. Intelligent development begins with real community need. Working with community leaders and local organizations, UPD develops projects that blend seamlessly into the existing fabric of a neighborhood. Whether a community needs a solution to homelessness or a stable dignified apartment complex for the disabled, UPD is flexible and has the experience and capacity to meet local need.



Across various state policy goals and geographic set asides, UPD’s portfolio complements comprehensive housing priorities. The company has numerous properties in its pipeline, including Permanent Supportive Housing projects in both Indiana and Illinois, preservation housing in Ohio and new construction family housing in Chicago. We are proud of the scope and diversity of the developments in our portfolio, which include:

Affordable Multifamily Housing:

  • Prairie Pointe, Monmouth IL
    New construction of 40 affordable single and multi-family units. Completed April, 2011.
  • Blue Sky Meadows, Havana IL
    New construction of 40 affordable single family homes in Havana, IL, which brings the first
    new housing development to the area in many years. Completed Spring, 2013
  • Greenleaf Manor, Glenview IL
    New construction of 20 units of affordable family housing. Completed Fall, 2013.
  • Kimbark Apartments, Chicago, IL
    Acquisition and rehabilitation of 100 units of affordable housing in Chicago’s Woodlawn
    neighborhood. January, 2013.
  • Rebecca Walker Complex, Chicago IL
    Acquisition and rehabilitation of 64 units of affordable housing in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. March, 2013.
  • Chappel Apartments, Chicago IL
    Acquisition and rehabilitation of 20 units of affordable housing in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. 2013.
  • 7822 South Shore Drive, Chicago IL
    Acquisition and rehabilitation of 24 units of affordable housing in Chicago’s South Shore
    neighborhood. Completed 2010.
  • Evergreen Towers I, Chicago IL
    Substantial rehabilitation and modernization of 100-unit affordable apartment building for
    independent seniors. Completed Winter, 2014.

Affordable Supportive Housing for Individuals and Families:

  • Spaulding and Trumbull, Chicago, IL
    New construction of 40 affordable single family homes in Havana, IL, which brings the first
    new housing development to the area in many years. Completed Spring 2013
  • Myers Place, Mt. Prospect, IL
    New construction of 39 units of affordable permanent supportive housing for individuals
    with disabilities. Completed Spring 2013.
  • South Shore Commons, Gary, IN
    New construction of 60 units of affordable supportive housing. Completed December 2013.
  • Walnut Commons, Muncie, IN
    New construction of 50 units of affordable permanent supportive housing for individuals
    with disabilities. Completed May 2015.
  • PhilHaven, Wheeling, IL
    New construction of 50 units of affordable permanent supportive housing for individuals
    with disabilities. Completed 2017.
  • Parkview, Arlington Heights, IL
    New construction of 45 units of mixed-income housing for individuals and families.
    Completed August 2018.

Under Development:

  • El Zocalo, Chicago IL
    New construction of affordable housing for families and community oriented retail space. Closing/Start Construction Summer, 2016
  • Westhaven, Columbus OH
    Rehabilitation of 92 affordable units for working and multigenerational families.
    Closing/Start Construction October, 2017



UPD’s expertise allows the company to address the need for affordable housing while creating quality living environments. We believe in leaving a legacy of environmental sustainability in each project we work on. Going Green can be mere buzz words nowadays, but UDP has a proven record of utilizing eco-friendly, LEED-certified building practices.

Bettering the lives of our residents is the root of our company’s mission and daily work. We proudly partner with our sister management company to implement the Blended Housing Management Program. By creating close partnerships with onsite management teams and service providers we are able to make impact on human lives while ensuring the physical assets remain in top condition for many years.

UPD feels strongly that utilizing blended housing concepts furthers our mission of caring for both the physical and human asset in affordable housing. We know that it is vital to pay special attention to a community’s need for supportive services and/or comprehensive property management. We are proud of the structures we build and just as we seek to be proud of our buildings far into the future, we also take pride in our residents’ futures.



The UPD team has consistently been successful in the annual highly competitive funding rounds for limited financial resources, having been awarded a range of financing for projects in rural and suburban Illinois & Indiana, including:

  • 9% and 4% Tax Credits
  • HOME
  • Trust Fund
  • 1602/TCAP Funding
  • HUD Insured Mortgages
  • Project Based Section 8
  • Shelter + Care/ HEARTH Contracts
  • DMH BRIDGE Subsidies


The Team:


Jessica H. Berzac, Vice President of Development

Jessica has 16 years of affordable housing experience and has developed hundreds of units across Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Her portfolio includes affordable workforce and rural housing, independent senior and a significant number of permanent supportive housing developments.   Prior to joining her current team, she served as Vice President for Daveri Development and started her housing career with the Illinois Housing Development Authority as a Multifamily Loan Officer. Jessica has managed, developed and completed projects with many financing layers and different types of social service partnerships.

Jessica specializes in creating community partnerships with   service   providers   and   non-profit organizations, and is dedicated to creating opportunities for special needs individuals to live in affordable and supportive housing. She works closely with groups just getting started with new affordable housing initiatives. She facilitates the development process including site acquisitions, local entitlements and zoning, financing and project design, closings and program compliance. Ms. Berzac is well versed in the process of community engagement and knows the importance of building a project and team with a broad network of support.

After receiving a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Kalamazoo College, Ms. Berzac lived in Chicago for 10 years and dabbled in the arts before finding her own professional home in affordable housing development. She now lives in her hometown of Fresno, CA with her husband, three young sons and dog.


Zachary M. Pollack, Director of Operations

Zac joined the team at UP Development in 2016, after representing UP Development and other affordable housing developers as an attorney at Krasnow Saunders Kaplan & Beninati LLP. Prior to this, Zac worked in Washington D.C. in the healthcare practice group of King & Spalding, LLP, and various civic organizations including the American Bar Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Honorable Senator Arlen Specter.

Zac manages operational details of UPD projects, and coordinates our projects from their initial development stages through closing, construction, and lease up. He is involved in all aspects of project development, from financing applications and due diligence to design, permitting, and contract administration. Zac works closely with UPD’s sister property management companies, UPA, LLC and Hallmark & Johnson, coordinating ongoing compliance with local, state, and federal agencies.

Zac attended the University of Kansas and later earned his J.D. from the John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois. Outside of the office, Zac is involved in the Jewish United Fund (Young Leadership Division) and a contributor to the Chicago Architecture Blog and IICLE Land Use Law: Practice and Procedure – 2017 Edition. Originally from Overland Park, Kansas, Zac is a lifelong Chiefs and Royals fan. He now lives on Chicago’s north side with his wife Amanda and beloved dog, Bernie.


Sharron WilliamsManager of Residential Services

Sharron Williams brings 35 years of social services and non-profit management experience to the UP Development team. Sharron assists the company by aligning the leadership roles of the property management staff with the staff of the supportive services teams. She oversees the compliance of service agreements and advocates for best practices according to the corporation for supportive housing. She also researches and coordinates training opportunities to help impact the credibility of all permanent supportive housing sites. In addition, she collaborates with stakeholders from community-based organizations, not-for-profit groups, and mental health agencies that support the efforts to end homelessness.

Sharron worked previously as a Case Manager at St. Leo’s Residence for Veterans; a permanent supportive housing facility for veterans overcoming homelessness. She worked with the YMCA to initiate a case management program for their residential facility, served as the Program Director for The Housing Alternative Initiative helping to house individuals overcoming domestic violence, and she also served as an Administrator for United International Mortgage Bank assisting low-income families with homeownership.

Sharron is a certified case manager, a qualified mental professional, and holds a variety of professional certifications. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Central State University in Wilberforce, OH and a Master’s Degree in Inner City Studies from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL. She is a mother of two daughters and grew-up with nine sisters and brothers; she’s number nine of nine.


Alex Pereira, Project Analyst

Alex works as a project analyst and brings experience in affordable housing management, community development and housing policy research. Alex assists with aspects of project development, including community relations, site control and zoning, and preparation of finance applications. Previous to working with UP Development, Alex worked with the Boston Housing Authority and also volunteered with social justice oriented community advocacy groups.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Amherst College and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He loves soccer, board games and Tarantino movies, and has spent parts of his life in Brazil, Argentina, and India.



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