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Skilled in Acquisition, Design, Build, Funding and Compliance.


We're more than architects and general contractors.  We bring diverse knowledge in site acquisition, construction cost containment and creative funding insights.

Our passion is simple:  we visualize the completed project, knowing full well everything that must occur to make it a reality.

That's why we anticipate obstacles, offer creative solutions and always deliver the results needed, even when the pressure is on.

Fostering Community Approval.

We don't just draw plans - we draw community consensus to each project to ensure everyone wins.

#9 Design and La Mancha Construction represent the merging of inventive design, creative planning - and priceless social capital.

For over 16 years we have forged strong relationships and partnerships within government, community organizations and the non-profit social service sector.  All of the players who may impact a housing development.  

Our relationships in the community afford us a unique ability to advocate for the clients and projects we believe in.

A Ready Ally.


Could you use an ally on your projects, skilled at communicating the benefits your development brings to the community?


Discover why our technical skill paired with community partnerships is a winning combination for your project.


We bring diverse knowledge in site acquisition, construction cost containment and creative funding insights.

Let's discuss how.  Take advantage of our Free Feasibility Review.

Prepare Yourself to be Heard.

Sometimes your biggest challenge when starting is defining the project itself. That’s when our experience in this niche industry can help you brainstorm possibilities and limit risk.

We get to know all the factors impacting your proposed development. Together we determine which ideas are most feasible – and which have the best shot at getting funded.

We’re Much More Than Just a Pretty Point.

Yes, it’s true - your project application gains an extra point or two by engaging us as a Female Business Enterprise.


But look beyond our WBE/FBE status and you’ll find a powerhouse of strength.

Our passion has earned us a reputation as tireless advocates for projects that advance communities.

Case Study:

Project faces neighborhood opposition, complex financing; #9 Design-La Mancha Construction use strategic outreach to bring opponents on board.

Situation:  The Hope Springs permanent supportive housing project in Springfield, Illinois entailed multiple partners (including the City, SIU School of Medicine, State of Illinois, IHDA etc.) and several layers of financial structuring. It’s location in the Enos Park neighborhood – an area especially sensitive to this type of housing facility – left little hope that the project could overcome so many hurdles. and feasibility of the project was in jeopardy.

Action:  #9 Design/La Mancha Construction CEO, Dulcinea Gillman brought her decades of experience and established community relationships to the table. By means of trusting and strategic outreach, Dulcinea helped conduct diligent discussions among all parties. She appealed to the sense of community, demonstrating why the project would not only lift the neighborhood, but provide much needed services to those most in need.


Result: Community opinion began to shift, and soon their opposition was dropped. Encouraged by the progress, financing talks also moved ahead quickly and the project received all necessary approvals.


Completed in 2013, today the facility is providing highly successful outcomes for the grateful individuals enrolled.

Case Study:

When your project is on the line - put #9 Design-La Mancha Construction in your corner.

Knowledge of ADA compliance saves $200,000;
Rebuttal of plan reviewer’s interpretation convinces investor to fund project.


Situation: Funding and feasibility of the project was in jeopardy. The project developer, Evergreen Real Estate had their eye on renovating existing construction of 96 units, in Elgin, IL. However, the investor’s plan reviewer interpreted accessibility code in such a way that suggested it would only be partially compliant with ADA guidelines. This interpretation would make it virtually impossible to bring the building into compliance.

Action: #9 principal John Cronin’s in-depth knowledge of the governing accessibility codes told him something wasn’t right. Upon thorough review of the code, John prepared a detailed point-by-point rebuttal showing how the investor’s review was flawed. John argued that the project would in fact be in FULL compliance as planned.

Result: Thanks to John’s detailed review, the investor was convinced that the proposed plan would not only meet compliance, but save $200,000, thereby ensuring viability of the project.

Funding was secured and today the property is renovated and occupied.


"Nothing is going to catch the team at #9 off guard.


They bring such a broad range of skills and knowledge: architecture, design, construction AND functionality related to the intended use of a space.


They truly transform visions into reality. Plus they are an absolute delight to work with and remain so composed under pressure.”

Jim Haptonstahl

Executive V.P.

UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago

"#9 helped us salvage a complex $12M deal that we would have had to pass on without their involvement.


Because of multiple site issues in 3 different cities, it just didn’t look like we could make it fit within our financial model. They were able to present concepts that solved these challenges and brought it back in line and made it cost effective.


They even went out as part of the team to build consensus at the political level in each municipality. ”

James Roberts

Affordable Housing Consultant

" It was my distinct pleasure to work with #9 Design and La Mancha Construction on the Hope Springs living center for mentally disabled and economically disadvantaged populations in Springfield, Illinois.

It is quite remarkable how Dulcinea helped this project come together so harmoniously, especially with neighborhood opposition and such complex financing.

Thanks to the help of Dulcinea, Hope Springs is now valued as a committed provider in an improving neighborhood and considered a vital health care institution in the city.”

Michael Farmer, Director

Office of Planning& Economic Development

Springfield, Illinois

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