Erin Lavin Cabonargi

Director of Construction, Sterling Bay

Erin Lavin Cabonargi serves as the Director of Construction for Sterling Bay, a Chicago-based commercial real estate investment and development firm focusing on the adaptive reuse of downtown loft office buildings, ground-up office and retail developments and urban campus build-to-suit projects. Erin has oversight of various aspects of Planning, Design and Construction of these projects.

Prior to joining Sterling Bay in 2015, Erin was an active leader in public sector development and a Cabinet member to Chicago Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel.  Most recently, Erin served as the Executive Director of the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC), appointed in 2008 and successfully delivering nearly $3 billion of new development, major renovation, security,  technology and asset repositioning work on behalf of the City of Chicago, Cook County, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Police Department, and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, among others.  During her tenure with the PBC, a capital program of more than 200 projects was delivered on time and 9.6% below budget. Erin championed both economic and environmental sustainability, helping to facilitate workforce and business participation that was local, diverse and inclusive; and achieving LEED certification on 72 facilities, including several Platinum rated facilities. Further, the PBC won hundreds of awards from a wide range of industry associations and thought leaders that recognize innovation, best practices and excellence in planning, design and construction.  Top award winners included William B. Ogden Elementary School, Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, Jones College Preparatory High School, Ping Tom Park Fieldhouse and the new Chinatown Branch Library.

Prior to her public service, Erin served in leadership and project development roles for OWP/P Architects and The Architects Partnership as well as in research and academic roles at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign .  Erin received her Bachelor of Environmental Design from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Erin and her husband, Michael Cabonargi, who serves as the Chairman of the Cook County Board of Review, live in Wilmette, Illinois with their two boys.  Erin is actively involved with the Chicago Building Congress, Leadership Greater Chicago, Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, the Economic Club of Chicago, City of Hope, Lambda Alpha Society for Land Use Economics and the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center.

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