A guide to renting in Chicago's Lake View neighborhood

Lake View overview

The location

Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood (more commonly spelled Lakeview today) is bordered by Diversey Pkwy (2800 N), Irving Park Rd (4000 N), Lake Michigan and Ravenswood Ave (1800 W). The official Lake View community area also includes Irving Park Rd north toHawthorne Place homes, Chicago, IL Montrose Ave (4400 N), and Clark St west to Ravenswood Ave.

Lake View is bordered on the south by Lincoln Park, on the north by Uptown, and on the west by North Center / Roscoe Village.

Lake View neighborhoods

Lake View is a large community that consists of many smaller sub-neighborhoods: Belmont Harbor, Boys Town, East Ravenswood / Graceland West, Lakeview Central, Lakeview East, Southport Corridor and Wrigleyville. You’ll often see references to West Lakeview, which is part of the North Center neighborhood rather than Lake View itself.

Joeff Davis photo, Belmont Harbor, Chicago, IL

Who lives here?

Lake View is the preferred destination for many in the post-collegiate crowd, and most households consist of singles and young couples. Families with school-age children are scarce in most parts of Lake View, but more common in the Southport Corridor and Graceland West areas. The high-rise condos along Lake Shore Drive house an older crowd.

Joeff Davis photo, Roscoe’s, Chicago, IL

Lake View’s population of nearly 100,000 is more than 80% white overall, and nearly 100% white in several Census tracts. The African-American and Hispanic populations are approximately 3.5% and 8%, respectively. In general, the further west you go in Lake View, the less diverse the population.

Joeff Davis photo, mother and son, Chicago, IL

Residents are well-educated, with more than 70% of residents having a college degree and a quarter having an advanced degree. Median household incomes are in the mid-$50s to $60s in most areas east of Racine Ave (1200 W) and in the low $100s in the western parts of Lake View.

Joeff Davis photo, shower night at Spin, Chicago, IL

Although Boys Town is a mecca for gay tourists and nightlife, gays are distinctly in the minority in the area.

Why people move here

Lake View is a great, dense, vibrant urban playground that boasts a wide variety of attractions.

The park and lake. Joeff Davis photo, Dogs at Belmont Harbor, Chicago, ILLincoln Park and Lake Michigan form Lake View’s eastern border. This stretch of Lincoln Park hosts a beautiful harbor, tennis courts, ball fields, a golf driving range, a 9-hole golf course, a popular dog beach, and bike, walking and jogging trails. You’ll have to head north or south of Lake View for swimming beaches.

Joeff Davis photo, Music Box theater, Chicago, IL

Restaurants, bars, nightlife. You’ll find every imaginable option in Lake View, although most of the establishments cater to a younger crowd.

Wrigley Field. The lure of walking to Cubs games is irresistible to many Chicagoans. The street scene near Wrigley Field on a game day is a draw in itself.

Kardas Photography, Aerial view of Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

The price. Housing in Lake View tends to be less expensive than in neighboring Lincoln Park.

Shopping. Lake View has a host of locally-owned, one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques, along with a decent mix of national brands. Check the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce site for a glimpse of them.

Joeff Davis photo, Moving in on Oakdale Ave, Chicago, IL

Transportation. The CTA Red, Brown and Purple lines serve Lakeview Central residents well, while Lakeview East residents often opt for CTA bus lines. Cabs are plentiful in most parts of Lake View. Lake View does not have convenient access to Chicago’s expressway grid.

Joeff Davis photo, Belmont El stop, Chicago, IL

Neighborhood events. Lake View hosts a stunning array of neighborhood events, large and small, throughout the year. And who knows, this may be the year when we see a World Series at Wrigley Field.

Joeff Davis photo, Northalsted, Chicago, ILJoeff Davis photo, Harry Caray at Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Why people don’t move here

People don’t move here for some of the same reasons that people do move here – most notably density and the sometimes raucous, youth-oriented scene in many parts of Lake View.

Housing stock, prices. The area’s housing stock (see below) is often of lower quality, with fewer amenities and higher rents than in other areas popular with young professionals. Lake View residents, however, are willing to make these trade-offs to live in the area.

Hawthorne Place high-rise, Chicago, IL

Parking. Parking is scarce in most of Lake View, and expensive when available. There are few public parking lots in the area, and street parking is difficult. Permit parking areas provide some relief for residents in some parts of Lake View.

Transportation. Access to Chicago’s expressway system is inconvenient from most parts of Lake View, and involves a slow cross-town trek from its eastern stretches. Commute times to the Loop by public transit are lengthier from Lake View than from closer-in neighborhoods. Cabs are plentiful in most of the denser parts of Lake View.

Schools. The majority of Lake View parents opt for private schools, although the Blaine and Nettlehorst K-8 elementary schools have been gaining more acceptance in recent years.

Joeff Davis photo, Murals at The Alley, Chicago, IL

Neighborhood parks. Unless you’re close to the lakefront, public park space is scarce to non-existent in most parts of Lake View.

Grocery shopping. Many Lake View residents have expressed strong dissatisfaction with the proximity and quality of their local grocery shopping options, especially in light of the often difficult parking situation.

Housing stock

Almost all of Lake View’s rental housing stock pre-dates the 1970s, and it varies widely by sub-neighborhood. Courtyard buildings and 4+1s (see below), along with high-rises are the dominant housing type in high-density Lakeview East, while smaller buildings and single-family homes are common in other parts of Lake View.

Newport Ave Historic District, Chicago, IL

What’s scarce. Three-bedroom and larger apartments and single-family rentals are often in short supply, especially closer to the lake. Except for condo rentals, you can almost forget the notion of having an in-unit laundry. Many Lake View apartments lack dishwashers and central air-conditioning.

The supply of studios and 1-bedrooms is limited in the further west, lower-density parts of Lake View.

What’s plentiful. Closer to the lake you’ll almost always find a wide selection of studio and 1-bedroom apartments, and a decent selection of 2-bedrooms , in a variety of building types.

The 4+1. Chicago 4+1 buildings include four floors of apartments (the 4) above a lobby / parking area (the 1). Four plus ones are common in Lakeview East, where they exploited a loophole in the zoning code to maximize the number of units on a site.

Planned Property, 515 W Barry, Chicago, IL

The typical 4+1 has a small lobby, in-building laundry and an elevator, although some offer additional amenities. Almost all lack central air-conditioning (window units only) or any private outdoor space (balcony, porch). Ceiling heights are most often a minimal 7’ 8” and carpeting is far more common than hardwood flooring. Apartments generally have a single entrance from a common hallway.

Most Lake View 4+1s were built in the 1950s and 1960s. Many lacked curb appeal, and they were often cheaply built with minimal amenities, tenant-paid utilities, and little soundproofing between floors and units. Few have positive ventilation in the hallways, ensuring that you’ll often know what your neighbor has on the stove.

During the past few years a number of Lake View property owners have substantially upgraded the kitchens and baths in their 4+1 buildings, and a few have “re-skinned” the buildings to enhance curb appeal .

Courtyard buildings are common in Lakeview East. The courtyard buildings, as the name implies, are arranged around a central open area.

Courtyard building, Chicago, IL

Courtyards usually have multiple lobby areas, with 6 to 8 apartments opening off each lobby, and no lengthy hallways. Apartments face the courtyard and stretch through to a back door opening onto a porch that faces another building or an alley. This arrangement affords cross ventilation and a small amount of semi-private outdoor space.

Almost all of Lake View’s courtyards were built in the 1920s. They typically have little if any parking, radiator heat, limited closet space and decent sound-dampening between units. Few of the buildings have elevators or central air-conditioning.

Park Place Tower, Chicago, IL

High-rise apartments. Most Lake View high-rises were built in the 1920s or during the 50s, 60s and early 70s. They lack the extensive in-unit and common-area amenities found in newer buildings, but rent for much less and often have larger-sized apartments than the newer buildings.

Lofts. Lake View is one of the few neighborhoods that still has a decent selection of rental lofts. You can learn more about loft living in Yo’s Guide to loft condos.

Newport Ave Historic District, Chicago, IL

Vintage walk-ups. Lake View has many small vintage walk-ups which often include a fireplace, a parking space and a shared yard. You’ll find a far wider selection of this building type in Lake View than in any of the Downtown / Loop neighborhoods.

New construction. Lake View has seen almost no new rental construction within the past 30 years, although the area has seen a large amount of condo and single-family home construction.

Homes at Barry & Sheffield, Chicago, IL

Condo, home rentals. You can find 100s of condo and home rentals listed in the Multiple Listing Service and searchable through reputable real estate broker sites. Many of them are in newer buildings with more in-unit and common-area amenities.

What it costs to live here

Rents in Lake View are generally slightly below Lincoln Park levels and significantly below Downtown / Loop rents largely due to the greater distance from the Loop and the often lower-quality housing stock.

Joeff Davis photo, Ann Sather restaurant, Chicago, IL

Studio apartments can occasionally be found in the $600 – $700 a month range, but more commonly start in the $800s.

You should generally expect to pay $900 to $1,500 for one-bedrooms, $1,300 to $3,000 for 2-bedrooms and a minimum of $2,000 a month for 3-bedrooms in most parts of Lake View.

You might also consider

If you want an apartment with the latest in-unit and common-area amenities, and can afford them, the Downtown and Loop neighborhoods offer your widest selection.

The slightly older, more affluent crowd often opts for Lincoln Park, Wicker Park or Bucktown.

Wicker Park, Bucktown and Ukrainian Village are popular with younger renters seeking lower rents, more recently rehabbed apartments and a hipper, edgier scene. Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, Roscoe Village, Buena Park and Andersonville are also alternatives that many would-be Lake View residents consider.

Yo’s at-a-glance apartment list

If you just want to laser in on larger rental buildings and management companies in the downtown, Lincoln Park and Lake View neighborhoods, we’ve summarized all of your options into a downloadable Google spreadsheet that has links to the properties, to Yelp and Apartment Ratings reviews, and a grid showing you the types of apartments (Studio, 1-bedroom, etc.) available. You can save and mark up a copy of the spreadsheet to keep track of your favorites and store notes on your search.

We value your feedback

Add your comments below, with any suggestions you think will be helpful to people deciding whether and where to rent in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood. Commercial solicitations will be deleted.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

ResideLiving April 21, 2011 at 10:45 AM

This is an excellent guide to the neighborhood and really gives you the feel for what this area is all about. Having lived here for a number of years and having apartments in the area, I can’t stress enough what an amazing place this is. Kudos to the YoChicago team for putting together a great overview of this area and providing imagery and videos for prospective residents!

Reply

Sheridan B April 26, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Your photo of the boystown pylon made me think of this;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryugyong_Hotel

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Joe Zekas April 26, 2011 at 7:54 PM

That’s a wow!

Reply

ResideLiving May 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Now is the best time to look for apartments, condos, or houses in Lakeview. The Spring, Summer and Fall seasons in Chicago are simply the best in the midwest. It’s just such a lively time of year and especially in Lakeview with the number of farmer’s markets, concerts, cafes, and other enjoyable activities. I just love Spring in Chicago!

Reply

Joe Zekas May 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM

ResideLiving,

Please don’t spam our comments with your promotions.

Over time you’ll learn that many readers find the type of comment you posted an annoying waste of their time.

Reply

Mike June 1, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Pretty solid list. Did I miss the Trio Tower (670 W Wayman) on there? I think you also need Walton On The Park, which is rental now too. Good stuff all around though.

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Joe Zekas June 1, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Mike,

Our lists are missing half a dozen buildings that are in a queue to be added. Thanks for the reminder.

They will be. We’re determined to have the lists be comprehensive.

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Shane Doherty March 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Hi my name is Shane Doherty and I am a twenty two year old student from Dublin Ireland. I was luckily enough to get the opportunity to work in Chicago last Summer and as a result have decided to return with a few of my college friends this Summer to work again. Myself and three friends shall be arriving in Chicago on the 28th of May and will be in the market for some form of accommodation in or near the Lakeview area till the 1st of September.

The reason I am commenting is because I am finding it extremely difficult to find any websites or rental agencies that cater to our needs(a 3 month Summer Rental) I am not expecting you to find us any accommodation I was merely hoping for some general information or advice on how to go about securing some form of accommodation. Any information you deem useful would be extremely appreciated
.
Thank you in advance

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Tammy April 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Most people of Lakeview are generally rude. Drivers tend not to stop at stop signs or follow traffic safety rules concerning pedestrians. I am a woman and I find that men here treat me with much disrespect for no reason at all, knowing nothing about me whatsoever. Not sure why this unacceptable behavior is so prominent in Lakeview moreso than in other Chicago neighborhoods, but it’s disappointing and rather unfortunate.

Where are your manners, people? Hold doors open for each other, express gratitude, don’t assume things about people you don’t know, pick up your dog’s poop off the ground, women stop comparing yourself to other women passing by on the sidewalks and giving them the once over or staring at their shoes, don’t assume anyone’s financial status, respect your neighbors, cigarette smokers blow your smoke away from people not towards them, stop at stop signs, be quiet during movies at the theater, let people come out of buildings before going in, etc.

These should be executed without reminder, but I guess the people need one or never learned these acts of common decency and respect in the first place.

Reply

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