The South Side of Chicago is undergoing the biggest housing boom in 100 years, fueled by a strong economy, confidence in the city’s political stability and hundreds of millions of dollars in public works projects. Thousands of urbanites are finding homes in both new neighborhoods just south of the Loop and traditional neighborhoods along South Lake Shore Drive.
ARMOUR SQUARE / CHINATOWN
The most famous resident of this lively neighborhood at the crossroads of two expressways is U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. The area around Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue, known as Chinatown, is abundant with Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian restaurants, gift shops, and grocery stores. Housing mainly consists of two-flats and single-family homes, with a large percentage of new construction.
Bridgeport, on the city’s south side, is the birthplace of several of Chicago’s political leaders, including the current mayor, Richard M. Daley. This quiet neighborhood is an island of single-family homes, bungalows and two- and three-flats surrounded by factories, railroad tracks and expressways. Local amenities include a new park by the Fuller Street Bridge, which lends its name to the area.
BRONZEVILLE / GRAND BOULEVARD
This historically significant area is distinguished by beautiful boulevards, lovely older homes, parks and playgrounds. Diverse housing choices include multi-family units plus newer condominiums and duplexes. The Bronzeville and Kenwood communities include landmark districts featuring residences and commercial buildings from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
Proximity to the Dan Ryan Expressway makes this South Side community a convenient commute to the Loop business district. While the neighborhood offers a variety of housing stock, the majority of properties are multiple-unit dwellings. The Englewood-West Englewood area is dotted with parks and is home to more than 110 places of worship.
Situated on the lakefront and home to The University of Chicago, Hyde Park is a bastion of culture and college life. The area is littered with coffee houses, superb bookstores, restaurants, and shopping. It is the intellectual debate, the live theater and landmarks such as the Museum of Science and Industry that comprise the fabric of life here. Housing ranges from handsome brick Georgian mansions and distinguished mansion-sized vintage condominiums to full amenity high-rises and new construction townhomes. Commuter rail service directly connects Hyde Park to downtown.
Kenwood is a mile-square enclave of historic rowhouses and mansions situated on lovely tree-lined streets complimented by lush parks and parkways. Commuter rail service connects it directly to the Loop and Michigan Avenue.
In North Kenwood, historic greystones are under renovation, while new construction homes, townhome complexes and shopping areas are being developed within the context of planned communities complete with their own parks and recreational facilities.
NEW CITY / BACK OF THE YARDS
This community built up around the old packinghouse district of Chicago that included the Union Stockyards, has come a long way since it was the setting of Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, 100 years ago. Today, the neighborhood offers comfortable dwellings with special appeal to first-time buyers and a mix of industrial properties and plentiful shopping. Public transportation, I-55 and the Dan Ryan Expressway are close by.
This neighborhood draws its name from the large park, complete with lagoon and ice skating rink, at its southern edge. A cultural melting pot, the area offers two- and four-flat buildings, raised-ranches, bungalows and a smattering of newly constructed townhouses. The CTA’s Orange rapid-transit line links the community to the Loop.
Like University Village and Tri-Taylor, Pilsen is a vibrant, active and colorful neighborhood. Home to the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum and a true artists’ haven, this predominantly Spanish-speaking community offers mainly multi-unit housing dating from the late 1800s to post-World War II.
Easy access to Lake Michigan and downtown, a wealth of cultural and recreational amenities and ongoing redevelopment make South Shore an appealing place to live. Small comfortable homes at affordable prices, beautiful apartments and high-rises with lake views draw many professionals and their families. At this neighborhood’s doorstep are the South Shore Cultural Center, whose grounds include a theater, Nature Center and nine-hole golf course. It is also home to one of the city’s largest and most popular beaches, Rainbow Beach.
This multi-family home community offers proximity to transportation and downtown. The neighborhood takes its name from expansive Washington Park, which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for the World’s Fair of 1893 and retains its turn-of-the-century charm today. Nearby is the DuSable Museum of African American History, the first museum of its kind in the U.S.