Who's going to live in West Bucktown?

Logan Square development

West Bucktown? It’s the area that’s better known as Logan Square. Who’s going to live there? Let’s look at what the US Census Bureau has to say about the Census tract where the pictured development is located.

According to 2005 Census estimates, fewer than 3 in 10 area residents speak English at home — and even fewer than that seem to speak it on the street. That ratio is projected to drop between now and 2010. High school dropouts outnumber college graduates about 3 to 1.

Over seventy-five percent of the housing stock is rental. The population is highly transient: half the residents have moved to the area within the past 5 years. The median income of the area is about 80% of the citywide median.

Non-hispanic whites account for 21% of the population — a number that’s projected to drop to 18% in 2010.

Nearest El stop — 1.5 miles. Distance to Kennedy Expy: nearly 2 miles. Chances for neighborhood retail development: nil.

So, the new resident profile is: a poorly educated, lower-middle income non-English speaking renter, probably with a high tolerance for gang activity.


  • irishpirate 12 years

    What tract are you speaking of. Give us some major street boundaries please.

  • Well, I mixed apples and oranges – or pictures and census tracts.

    The tract I used is bounded b Armitage, Fullerton, Humboldt / Sacramento and Kedzie.

    The tract the pictured development’s in is bounded by Armitage, Fullerton, Milwaukee / Talman and California. That tract actually has lower median incomes, a more rapidly dwindling white non-hispanic population and otherwise similar demographic and social characteristics.

    Take any census tract in the area from North Avenue to Fullerton, Western to Kedzie and you’re going to find very similar numbers.

  • Attrill 12 years

    I agree – what boundaries are you using? Using Logan Square as a whole is different than the Palmer Square/southern Logan Square area (what is usually called “West Bucktown” by dishonest realtors).

    The area has some gang activity, but not a huge amount – http://www.chicagocrime.org/

  • The area most commonly called “West Bucktown” by Realtors and developers is North Ave to Fullerton and Western to California. No doubt, some with projects west of California have started using this label too, but the bulk of the developments with “West Bucktown” in the name as well as marketing materials are between Western and California – east of the area you’re giving stats for.

    West Bucktown’s a silly label, but there have been some major developments of lofts and townhouses, especially on and around Bloomingdale, as well as one-off in-fill homes. The people who say they live in West Bucktown – and I don’t think there are too many – mostly live east and south of the area you’re talking about.

  • irishpirate 12 years

    On the western end of the area I agree that any positive change is years off…if ever. However, on the eastern end around Western and Armitage the proximity to the Blue Line and the Kennedy does offer some hope. Hell I might live there just for the Margie’s Candies on western. Although there is now one on Montrose and Ravenswood so I can just stay in Uptown.

    I am a bit distrustful of mid decade census data. Back in the mid 90’s they projected that Chicago would lose population and they were wrong. They were also wrong about many neighborhoods picking up or losing population and other demographic changes.

    Often, even after the first signs of gentrification hit, areas still decline for a number of years until a stronger trend is established. That exact pattern happened in Uptown. May have happened in areas south also. I will need to look.

    Only time will tell. I do know I wouldn’t be buying anything as far west as Kedzie and expecting it to be gentrified any time in the next few decades. The areas around Western seem like a better bet.


  • anon 12 years

    I always thought Humboldt Park was being touted as “West Bucktown” – not Logan Square. The demographics you presented – if true – actually DO present a good opportunity to real estate professionals, if they are investors/contractors specializing in “affordable housing” for lower-income families.

  • sarah 12 years

    “Anon” is correct. Even in Yo’s definition of Logan Square-it is bound on the South by Fullerton not North. It is more of Humboldt Park that is being touted as “West Bucktown.”

    I don’t see why developments on the eastern side of Humboldt Park won’t crop up sooner rather than later. The small strip of Oakley (merely a short two blocks east of Western) north of North Avenue has already gone almost completely condo. And they’re just going to keep pushing west and north in that area as there is an L stop on Western and Milwaukee an easy walking distance in the area.

  • NSH 12 years

    Is the secret to neighborhood success an el stop and new condos?

  • Attrill 12 years

    I just reread the post – “Nearest El stop – 1.5 miles”

    What are the boundaries you’re talking about? 1.5 miles west of the Western Blue Line stop puts you west of the western boundary of Humboldt Park, past Kedzie and around Central Park or Pulaski. Are you saying realtors are calling that West Bucktown?!?!

  • jack 12 years

    “a poorly educated, lower-middle income non-English speaking renter, probably with a high tolerance for gang activity.”

    why does lower-middle class/non-english speaking equate to gang activity? that is most uneducated, racist comment I have heard on here in a very long time. Show some intelligence when making sweeping generalizations.

  • Ken 12 years

    There are people buying there and paying to much if you ask me.

    I have a few friends that live in Logan Square because it was “cheaper” than more desirable areas of the city. These people paid between $220,000-$250,000 for 1 beds (don’t ask me the streets they’re on, I don’t have my address book with me). I didn’t say anything to them but I wouldn’t have paid a penny over $150,000 for any of the units. The buildings are OK, the areas are suspect but they believe building/gentrification will continue. If it doesn’t does their property retain it’s value? To me, they paid “speculative” prices based on continued developement.

    “why does lower-middle class/non-english speaking equate to gang activity?”

    Because people in the lower middle class with less education and limited English skills have fewer job prospects which equates to a higher probability that they may engage in a criminal activity at some point or another. Not all of them will but the probability is higher.

  • What I said was that new residents would probably need a “high tolerance for gang activity” because that’s prevalent in the area.

    I don’t think you can fairly read my words to say that new residents would be involved in gang activity themselves.