People who live in neighborhoods in and around downtown Chicago have many different occupations and lifestyles. They may live in lakefront high-rises with spectacular views, or occupy spacious dramatic loft spaces. But when they go out to work or play, all of them can probably walk rather than ride or drive.
For recreation, the focus is on the lakefront. Oak Street Beach, Grant Park, Lincoln Park, and the harbors are popular spots for recreation and relaxation. The city’s great museums, as well as, indoor tennis courts, swimming pools and health clubs abound. And for those whose idea of recreation tends toward food, drink and entertainment, there’s plenty of that too.
The Gold Coast is one of Chicago’s most prestigious residential districts. Although very exclusive single-family homes occasionally are available on fabled Astor Street, housing here generally comes in the form of condominiums and co-ops, both vintage and modern. For many Gold Coast residents everything from Neiman Marcus to the best hot dog stand in the city are within walking distance.
LOOP/SOUTH LOOP/PRINTER’S ROW
Chicagoans who live near the Loop have many different occupations and lifestyles, but they have one thing in common: Proximity to the heart of the city.
East of Michigan Avenue and just south of the river, the New East side, as it is called, is a neighborhood built on air rights above land once occupied by railroad yards. High-rise condominiums, hotels and office towers with magnificent panoramic views in all price ranges are the norm here. With a golf course, two marinas and Grant Park at their doorstep and the city’s great theaters and museums within easy walking distance, residents here make recreation and culture a way of life.
Immediately south of the Loop, another area is being reclaimed from the great railroad yards, with hundreds of acres of open land sprouting new subdivisions. One such development is Central Station, east of Michigan Avenue at the south end of Grant Park. It features single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums surrounded by parks and playgrounds a short walk from the marinas and Museum Campus. The pioneers in the area are the planned communities of Dearborn Park I and II. Here you’ll find mid-rise condominiums, apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes. The development even has its own elementary school.
The South Loop is more than new construction. For example, in areas like Printer’s Row, condominiums and lofts occupy former warehouses, printing plants, and other historic buildings. It’s an easy walk to work in Michigan Avenue office buildings or the LaSalle Street financial centers. After hours, the district is alive with restaurants, boutiques, book and antique stores.
Streeterville, a residential pocket located between Michigan Ave. and the lake, is urban living at its most sophisticated. Offices, the most desirable shops, four-star restaurants and world class theaters are mere steps away. New and vintage high-rise and mid-rise condominiums or co-ops are the prevalent forms of housing. The Museum of Contemporary Art and Northwestern University’s downtown campus and medical center are famous residents here.
Immediately north of the Loop and Merchandise Mart, River North is prime real estate and therefore is bursting with residential development, as well as, art galleries, boutiques and design studios. Former warehouses have been converted to loft residences, and new townhome developments and mid-rise condominium buildings line the banks of the Chicago River. City dwellers in this area are allured by the neighborhood’s proximity to the financial district, North Michigan Avenue shopping and many of the city’s finest dining and night spots.
Near the Chicago River and the River North gallery district, this area offers dozens of new office and residential loft conversions, a smattering of renovated two- and three-flats and some newly constructed townhomes. Here, traditional family-owned restaurants, bakeries and flower and produce stands are being rediscovered by a new generation of city-dwellers.