Mark and I spent the past couple of weeks talking to developers and agents about the appeal of North Side neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, Lake View, Bucktown and Wicker Park, in preparation for a story that will run in the October issue of New Homes. Here are just a few of the characterizations and gut reactions we heard about those neighborhoods:
When I was in college in Ohio, Lincoln Park was the neighborhood that everyone who wasn’t from Chicago knew about. If you were planning to move to Chicago after graduation, you wanted to live in Lincoln Park. It felt a little like the suburbs in the city: very safe, very homogeneous.
Of all the neighborhoods in Chicago, Bucktown has one of the biggest ranges for purchasing. In Lincoln Park, there’s not really a low end for buying, but in Bucktown, you can find a condo for close to $200,000 all the way to a single-family home selling in the millions.
Wicker Park is still a little edgier than the rest. Division Street may be the hottest street in all of Chicago for restaurants and bars, but it all still has an edgy, artsy feel to it. Bucktown lost that a little bit as the national retailers and higher-end boutiques arrived. It’s become more of a place for young couples and families who want a larger condo or townhome at an affordable price.
Lake View is interesting, because more than any other place, I see a lot of buyers there who pay close attention to school districts. Anything around the Blaine grade school – something around the Southport corridor just north of Addison, for example – can be pretty expensive, especially compared with the rest of Lake View.
Women. Love. Bucktown. The shopping beats Lincoln Park. It used to be that everyone – women, at least – wanted to live near the shopping off of Armitage. Now you see them prefer the shopping off of Damen.
Whenever I’ve been in Lincoln Park on Armitage shopping, it seems like it’s not so much the young families, it seems like there’s college kids and an older crowd. If you go down Damen on a Saturday afternoon, everyone either has a stroller or dogs, jogging, or a school-age kid.
– Ranquist Development and RCR Realty principal Karen Ranquist