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Millennials are not opting for cities

Kardas aerial

As he often does, Joel Kotkin looks past wishful thinking to the numbers: It’s an idea echoed everywhere from “Friends” to “Girls”: Young people want to live in cities. And, we’re told, a lot of them (at least the cool ones) do. It’s a common assumption. But it’s also wrong. Between 2010 and 2013, the ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 20, 2014

Quote of the day – America’s future is in the suburbs

Northwest suburbs, Kardas Photography

Advocates of the proposition that dense central cities are the way of the future have a few barriers to face – facts and consumer preferences. Joel Kotkin at newgeography makes the case for not writing off suburbia: For nearly a generation, pundits, academics and journalists have written off suburbia. They predict that the future lies ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 7, 2012
News & trendsMarket conditions

Burbs going bust – dissembling with infographics version

ArcheDaily infographic

The infographic has been craftily designed to convey a misleading picture of the relative state of cities and suburbs: The age of “sprawl” is ending: people are leaving the suburbs and once again flocking to cities in search of a better way of life. Whether Suburbia can be saved or not, it’s worth taking a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 30, 2012

A downturn in suburban rents, occupancy levels

Downtown Round Lake

“One month’s free rent” signs dotted the roadside last week as I traversed Lake County on my way to Fox Lake. The signs registered more vividly than the passing place names: Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, North Chicago, Park City, Gurnee, Gages Lake, Wildwood, Grayslake, Hainesville, Round Lake, Long Lake and Fox Lake. A ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 22, 2012
News & trendsNeighborhoods

The notion of inevitable suburban decline

Woodstock Square

I’ve been reading predictions of the imminent demise of the suburbs for nearly 50 years. The ever-provocative Joel Kotkin, an urban futurist, calls attention to some of the latest: This past weekend the New York Times devoted two big op-eds to the decline of the suburb. In one, new urban theorist Chris Leinberger said that ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 5, 2011

Young city dwellers light out for the territory

Lake Forest beach

Despite the best efforts of urbanists to civilize them into city living, America’s young continue to opt for the suburbs, according to Joel Kotkin at newgeography. For well over a decade urban boosters have heralded the shift among young Americans from suburban living and toward dense cities. As one Wall Street Journal report suggests, young ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on July 21, 2011
News & trendsMarket conditions

Suburban Chicago rents – ups and downs

Bette Midler, Bing Crosby

The headline and the story at Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily tell a tale of uniformly rising rents, declining vacancy rates and fewer concession offerings in Chicago’s suburbs. The chart accompanying the article tells a more nuanced story. Rents rose only a modest 1.8% in South Cook county suburbs, and declined by 1.3% to 3.6% ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on June 1, 2011
North ShoreWilmette

In Wilmette’s Kenilworth Gardens, the fourth bedroom costs $200K

Video: In Wilmette's Kenilworth Gardens, the fourth bedroom costs $200K

Over at North Shore Views Anne West lists the homes for sale in Wilmette’s Kenilworth Gardens neighborhood, an area that’s long had a strong appeal to young families. You can see the area in my video from several years ago. The four three-bedroom homes currently on the market range in price from $575,000 to $629,000. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 19, 2011

Suburban Chicago rents up but incentives remain

Renaissance Place, Highland Park IL

The median net rent per square foot at suburban Chicago apartment complexes rose 7.4% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to a recent Appraisal Research Counselors (“ARC”) report. During the fourth quarter of 2010 more than half of suburban apartment complexes were offering discounts or concessions, with the most common offering being a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 6, 2011

Quote of the day – suburbanizing Chicago

From an op-ed by Dennis Byrne in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune: A real “back-to-the-city” movement would require Emanuel — and city planners — to examine what city emigrants seek in the suburbs. Not just better schools and safety, items that top Emanuel’s priority list. There’s more: space, freshness, local libraries, neighborhood schools. A government that’s closer ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 2, 2011
North ShoreWilmette

3 of top 10 North Shore home sales found in Wilmette

Wilmette Harbor

North Shore Views just reported the 10 highest-priced sales on the North Shore during 2010. Three of them, surprisingly, were in Wilmette. Not a single one of the 40 highest-priced properties currently on the market in the North Shore suburbs is in Wilmette, which is one of the factors that make the 2010 results unexpected. ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on February 24, 2011
North ShoreWinnetka

Yo’s guide to moving to Winnetka

Winnetka, Illinois

Winnetka is home to “the educated affluent,” says Joe Zekas, a place with a largely unwarranted reputation when it comes to social snobbery and viewed by most as “a friendly, tolerant and welcoming community,” where people often identify themselves by the elementary school district in which they live and where they “remain almost feverishly active” ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on December 14, 2010

Suburban showcase: Where are taxes headed on that North Shore home?

Joe Zekas writes regularly about North Shore homes at the Homeward Bound – North Shore blog at ChicagoNow. There, he recently posted the following: Parts of Cook County have the taxable valuation of their homes reassessed every three years (PDF). Last month the Cook County Assessor’s Office began mailing homeowners in Northern Cook County their ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on August 12, 2010
North ShoreEvanston

Walking downtown Evanston with Grand Bend's Andy Kiener

Evanston is the nearest North Shore suburb from Chicago, and its downtown rivals almost any Chicago neighborhood as a classically urban environment. Last weekend Joe Zekas met Andy Kiener at Grand Bend at Green Bay, at the edge of downtown Evanston, for a walking tour of the area. The two started with a look at ...

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Posted by sponsored post on July 15, 2010

Quote of the day: A recent history of rental concessions in Chicago's suburbs

Concessions were the marketing tool of choice to lure renters back to projects after the market began its decline in 2001. Our surveys indicated one free month’s rent was a “given” but often two and even three months free were not uncommon in the market. Operators were doing anything they could to fill their buildings ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on May 12, 2010
ChicagoNorth Side

Weighing WalkScores: Roscoe Village or Evanston?

Ask people what characteristic they most value in a city neighborhood and they’ll often answer “walkability” or “pedestrian-friendliness.” If walkability is what you’re seeking in a new neighborhood, you may already use WalkScore.com for an objective index of pedestrian-friendliness: walkable access to shops, restaurants, parks, pubs, and public transportation. City dwellers have been known to ...

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Posted by sponsored post on April 30, 2010
North ShoreWilmette

From the vault: Rezko's residence and the CAGE of East Wilmette

Now that Tony Rezko’s East Wilmette home is on the market, it’s time to revisit this video from the YoNorthShore archive: a drive down Chestnut Avenue, one of the four streets that run from east to west through the village’s CAGE area. (The other three are Ashland, Greenwood, and Elmwood avenues.) You can see the ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on February 18, 2010

Suburban showcase: "Tuscan" living in Volo

At many developments, you can beat the looming federal tax credit deadlines by purchasing a turnkey home, but you won’t have much luck finding a place with some options for customization. At DR Horton‘s Symphony Meadows community in Volo, however, you can apply a personal touch to your new-construction single-family home and still close by ...

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Posted by sponsored post on February 2, 2010

Holiday activities in Antioch

During the holiday season you’ll find a variety of activities and events in downtown Antioch, courtesy of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce and local businesses. Join Joe and Jordan Zekas for a brief look at the horse-drawn carriage rides and the line of kids waiting to enter Santa’s Enchanted Castle. You’ll meet a few lifelong ...

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Posted by Joseph Askins on December 25, 2009
North ShoreWilmette

From the video vault: Wilmette's Christmas house

In 2006 Joe Zekas trained his video camera on one of Wilmette’s favorite Christmas traditions, the Warren A. Perkins Memorial Christmas Display. All week we’ll be bringing you holiday-themed videos from the YoChicago YouTube archives.

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Posted by Joseph Askins on December 23, 2009