NEAR WEST SIDE
In recent years, areas west of the Loop have experienced a boom of activity fueled by a new generation of Chicagoans who want to live and play close to work. Older neighborhoods have been revitalized and new neighborhoods created from former industrial parks and warehouse districts. Luxury townhomes and loft conversions now intermix with renovated vintage rowhouses and two-flats. Stretching from the Chicago River to Western Avenue, the Near West Side offers a patchwork of small, diverse neighborhoods, where trendy boutiques and eateries blend with second- and third-generation family-owned shops and ethnic restaurants.
The West Loop, in particular, has been the focus of hundreds of millions of dollars in new high-rise office buildings and residential towers that co-exist with colorful open-air produce markets and the lively Greek restaurants and nightclubs along Halsted Street. These high-rise complexes offer a full range of conveniences from shopping to private health clubs.
Nearby is West Loop Gate, an area once home to Chicago’s textile mill industry. Today, the area offers hundreds of warehouse-style buildings converted to office and residential lofts, often with upscale restaurants and boutiques at street level. Residents can walk to the Loop and are five minutes from all major expressways circling the city.
South of the Eisenhower Expressway is University Village. It draws its name from the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois, which in the late 1960s was carved out of an area west of the Loop and south of the Eisenhower Expressway. The neighborhood occupies the area between the campus and the city’s West Side medical complexes. Flush with new townhouse developments and renovated rowhouses, brownstones and turn-of-the-century mansions, the neighborhood is home to university professors and medical researchers, local shopkeepers and urban professionals--all of whom enjoy the low-density living, excellent schools and nearby rapid transit service.
Due west of University Village is Tri-Taylor. Awarded landmark status by the city to preserve its essential old-world flavor, this charming European-style community is characterized by tree-lined streets of restored 19th-century rowhouses and two- and three-flats, as well as, new townhouses and single-family homes. Walking distance from the medical complex, this neighborhood also adjoins one of the city’s high-tech research parks.