JSO Valuation Group, LTD. is a commercial real estate appraisal firm located in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois. Over the past 30-years we have completed appraisal assignments of vacant, proposed and improved commercial, multi-family, and industrial properties.


We value specialty type developments, such as subdivision lot analysis, communication towers, municipal recreational park land, and much more. The values have ranged from hundreds of thousands to several million dollars; from one tenant to large, multi-tenanted office towers, industrial, and retail buildings. Our valued and diverse clients use our appraisals in a variety of ways to make critical and informed decisions. Our services equip those in industries such as financing, insurance, estate, feasibility analysis, and real estate tax appeal.  


We specialize in traditional and niche property types. Our experience with the latter include low-income cooperative housing from Boston to Seattle, self-storage warehousing, convenience stores, to name just a few.


Planning & Analysis

  • Develop scope of work that works for you

  • Collect data on site, including all assets

  • Collect data on surrounding area (county, city, neighborhood).


Studies & inspection

  • Analyze all relevant data

  • Conduct appropriate studies (drive time, marketability, best use)

  • Develop proper value of land

  • Application of correct approach (income, sales comparison, cost)


Your report & our continued support

  • Provide defined value of property/site

  • Explain clearly our professional reasoning

  • Provide professional consultation and testimony when you need it



appraisals with targeted analysis

based on your specific needs





expert appraisals


Multi-tenanted, low, medium, and high-rise office buildings. We value millions of square feet of office accommodation per annum.


  • Portfolio, financing, etc.

  • Business district or suburban locations

  • Corporate headquarters

  • Medical office buildings

  • Assisted living

  • Condominium office suites

  • Office flex buildings



We take on unique industrial assignments and provide tailored solutions based on your needs​

  • Manufacturing

  • Cold storage

  • Warehouse

  • Cross-dock buildings

  • Self storage

  • Marinas

  • Special-use buildings

  • and more


We are experienced in valuing single-store facilities and large shopping plazas.We specialize in land development and sub-division analysis.

  • Strip centers

  • Malls

  • Department stores

  • Repurposed commercial sites

  • and more



We specialize in appraising facilities ranging from 800 sq. ft to large, mega-chain supermarkets.

  • Gas stations

  • Convenience stores

  • Pharmacies with attached markets

  • Grocery stores

  • Co-op food markets

  • Supermarkets


New, old, and repurposed

  • Move theaters and cinemas

  • Live performance theaters

  • Concert halls

  • Comedy and performance clubs

  • Outdoor music venues


We value stand-alone structures like pools and entire sports complexes, new and old


  • Tennis courts

  • Basketball courts

  • Multi-use sports complexes

  • Stadiums

  • Swimming pools

  • Waterparks

  • and more


Two-flats to 500-plus units.  There are so many reasons as to why we value multi-family housing, but along with financing, insurance appraisals tops the list.  JSO specializes in insurance value as a check on the actual insurance companies themselves.  


JSO Valuation Group has valued both "Limited Equity" and "Full Equity" cooperative housing complexes.  We have also valued non-performing assets to establish some type of path forward for the lender.  Some of the unique developments have been cooperative mobile home sites with values exceeding $100 million.  


Appraisals for investors, individual owners and management companies.  This is a property sector that has changed over the last 20-years and the degree of sophistication in management and operations has also changed almost all for the better.  


Single structure or campus

  • Car wash

  • Auto dealership

  • Banks

  • Funeral homes

  • and more!


JSO's team of expert appraisers are ready to take on new and challenging facility types. 

Contact us to speak more!


we provide specialized valuations for a wide variety of clients and situations . . .



JSO provides our clients with expert appraisal reports that give them a leg up during the real estate tax appeal process. We work with local, trusted law firms to save our clients money and combat Assessor estimates that are outdated.

We appraise properties ranging from a few thousand to a few million square feet, including "Loop" high-rise office buildings, suburban big-box stores, shopping centers, industrial buildings, and a variety of other property types. These buildings have ranged from a few thousand square feet to a million square feet. We work throughout Cook County, the Collar counties, and throughout the lower 48. Potential tax savings vary depending on age, condition, and use of the property.

This is a strange arena to work in.  It is only getting stranger and there are competing agencies that can over-rule each other.  

The Cook County Assessor derives his assessments for all properties from a Mass Appraisal technique.  However real estate is not  homogenous, therefore even two seemingly similar and adjoining properties can have very (and this can't stressed enough) different value outcomes.  

But this is a story for a different day.  In tax appeal there is only one major and beyond important issue... and that it the final property assessment.  This falls with the Assessor's office and finally the Cook County Board of Appeals - the Board.  These guys have been doing a stellar job.  There are other avenues in the appeal process after this, but these outcomes will not influence the "Assessment:"  

Why is this so important?  In Cook County all the properties are assessed every three-years, a triennial taxation system. The county is therefore divides into three sectors (one per year) and in 2021 it is the turn of the City of Chicago.  After all the appeals at the Assessor's office and the "Board" were completed in 2018 the final certified assessment was issued.  In 2021 the next assessment (the current pending one) is based on these 2018 Certified total.  Therefore if one was not able to bring this assessed amount under control one can expect an even higher property tax assessment this year.  

There are several news articles on this matter and they need to be a cautionary tail for the Cook County Assessor and all Assessors across the nation for that matter.   One of the issues is that when there is a non-real estate individual, like Fritz Kaegi in Cook County, there is a complete lack of knowledge and understanding.  


Read more....  

The JSO team expertly revalues from a cost approach point of view. We have seen time and time again how replacement costs imposed by insurance companies are too high, inaccurate, and void of proper analysis. JSO provides clients with consultative reports that drilldown, component by component, the exact cost to replace the property.


We work with trusted and proven insurance brokers who take our appraisals into negotiation alongside the often-outdated costs regulated by insurance companies. We have applied our expert cost analysis to a variety of property types, and have aided our diverse pool of valued clients.

analysis for

individual investors



real estate mgt. companies



Appraisal for financing is one of our specialties, but it is work that we only complete on a sporadic basis. We understand the ins and outs of Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) and various other traditional financing methods. We have prepared expert appraisals for Life Companies such as Artesia Mortgage Capital Corporation, Business Men's Assurance Company, and Royal Neighbors of America to mention a few.  


The issue for us has been the race to the bottom on appraisal fees.  It is difficult to understand that if an institution is going to forward several million to tens on millions of dollars in loan financing that they would not wish to know everything possible about the property and its environs. Its is necessary to understand the health of the rental market and the current trends in leasing such as the lease basis, terms, concessions, tenant improvements, etc.  Not to mention expenses, and capitalization rates and why (especially in this market) are the indices moving in one direction or another.

I would expect an institution would want to know the direction of the market and more importantly the future upside for the property in question.  After all they would like to be taken out of the loan at some stage and get paid back in full.

This takes time.  This is reflected in the fee.  Many of the large brokerage houses that have appraisal departments say they are doing this already.  But in essence they have a stock sections that try to fulfill this criteria.  

JSO has appraised hundreds of office buildings, shopping centers, and industrial buildings—it was one of our hallmarks. But we also specialize in valuing cooperative housing for blanket loans, whether they’re limited equity or full equity developments. Co-ops come in all shapes and sizes from the ultra-luxury high-rise apartments to the standard town home housing developments commonly built in the 1960s.

We also have crafted deep experience with self-storage valuations plus other niche areas such as swim clubs.  However, it always boils down to the fee.  We are simply not interested in the financial race to the lowest common fee.



We work with Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) for annual or bi-annual valuations of properties in various markets, including office, industrial, and multi-family residential. We have travelled coast to coast to provide exceptional and trusted work.


Are you looking for a professional appraisal partner that will go the extra mile?


For decades JSO has provided strong value-add to our clients, even in those times that are most trying.


Our team compiles reports that exceed IRS guidelines for estate tax requirements. More about that below...


We clearly understand the intricacies of estate valuation that involves multiple owners and ultimately a valuation including Fractional Interest.

In this short summary, its worth mentioning that as a general rule we do not work with other appraisal firms in developing values across multiple States for multiple properties.  We handle all States at one time, and develop all values for all properties allowing for fruitful discussions with our clients.  It has been our experience that quality control and coordination don't fair well when there ia more than one appraisal firm developing values.  We prefer to be the one voice on all values to aid with the completion of the return.  

Lastly, within this field there are conservation easements, preservation easements, etc., that we believe need a strong guiding hand from a valuation point of view.  This is a difficult area of valuation and JSO is clearly up to this task. The link below develops this further.




JSO offers expert consultation and  testimony

we're the experts so you don't have to be.

we help our clients understand their options in a variety of situations

& help them understand the ins and outs of appraisal reports.

Real State Tax appeal

Divorce/Family Law



Partnership Disputes




Nick is an experienced real estate professional with proven expertise in leasing, property management, and real estate valuation. His impressive financial experience, gained through real estate valuations, market studies, and feasibility studies, compliments his unyielding work ethic.


Nick is a Michigan State University graduate, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Finance with a focus in Hospitality Real Estate & Development. Nick has over ten-years of experience in the real estate industry and enjoys taking on the most unique appraisal needs.  


Nick is an Illinois State Certified General Appraiser, and is a Candidate for Designation (MAI) with the Appraisal Institute.

John's path to forming JSO began in the early eighties. He graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology and was also awarded a degree from the University of Dublin, Trinity College 1984.  John majored in real estate finance, town planning, and environmental economics. He soon after began working as a senior appraiser in New York (’84-’87). He then rooted in Chicago and excelled as a senior loan appraiser (’87-’89).


In 1989 John took the leap and officially began his own appraisal company, JSO Valuation Group, Ltd. His work ethic and leadership has fostered a talented team of appraisers, all of whom pride themselves on producing industry-leading work. Since 1989 John and his team have provided their clients with comprehensive, relevant, and specialized valuation services. 


John is an Illinois State Certified General Appraiser, Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI), and a Member of the Royal Institute of Charter Surveyors (MRICS), General Practice Division.




  • Alabama

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Idaho

  • Illinois

  • Indiana

  • Iowa

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Maryland

  • Minnesota

  • Michigan

  • Missouri

  • Nevada

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • South Dakota

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Virginia

  • Washington

  • Washington DC

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

Our licensure and qualifications permit us to appraise in states that are not currently highlighted. Please contact our office if you have a specific question regarding our geographic capabilities.



feel free to spend some time and learn more about the real estate appraisal industry


Sales comparison approach

Income Approach

Cost Approach




Chicago & Collar Counties


General Knowledge


Also see the JSO Presentation "The Effects of Financing/Financial Management within the Cooperative Housing Industry."


Cook County

Will County

Lake County






we'd love to hear from you!

Send us a message!

JSO Valuation Group, Limited

2100 Greenwood Street, Suite 104

Evanston, Illinois 60201 


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