CHICAGO-JSQ Commercial’s JSQ Multifamily I has raised $36.5 million to develop multifamily properties throughout the U.S. A joint venture with Watermark Residential of Indianapolis, Ind., a subsidiary of Thompson Thrift of Terre Haute, Ind. was formed to implement the strategy.

The venture’s first development broke ground this summer in Louisville, Ky. And will be comprised of 270 units. Completion is slated for November of 2013.

JSQ anticipates that two additional developments totaling 530 units will start construction before the end of the year.

“The development strategy relies on the expertise of JSQ and Thompson Thrift/Watermark in site selection, efficiency of design and cost effective construction,” said Thomas Murphy, president and CEO of JSQ Commercial. “Combining the resources of the two entities enables us to develop Class A product in high barrier entry suburban locations at a competitive price.”

JSQ’s Fund I, a $26.5 million fund targeting office and industrial acquisitions, focused on the Chicago metropolitan market. This multifamily strategy enables JSQ to expand its development and investment beyond Chicago.

The venture is targeting seven to nine developments by the end of 2014, with a total of approximately 2,000 units and portfolio value of $160 million. Developments will range in size from 200 to 400 units, with Thompson Thrift/Watermark providing development and construction expertise, as well as leasing and management services.