U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago Suburbs
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 04-09-2007, 03:14 PM
 
5 posts, read 62,760 times
Reputation: 13

Advertisements

I am relocating to the area in a week. It has been short notice. I know some of the areas but not that well and I am wondering if anyone can tell me about Cicero and the Oak Park area. I have heard that Cicero is an up and coming area, according to MSN, but what I am seeing on the demographics of the area is not looking great. I am wondering if someone who is familiar with the area can tell me what to expect if I move there. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you!
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-09-2007, 04:37 PM
NSH
 
284 posts, read 1,798,488 times
Reputation: 163
Cicero... one of my favorite subjects, so much corruption yet so much fun to be had. Cicero has been known as the most mobbed up town in Illinois since Al Capone opened his first speak-easy on 22nd Street. From 1920-1980 if you weren't Italian and from Cicero you were not greeted with any type of welcome. But as the outfit died off or landed in jail the properties started to get rented to hispanics during a large wave of immigration in the mid eighties. Cicero has one of the largest GDPs for any town in IL. 2 horse racing tracks, industrial corridors, vibrant commercial districts of hispanic goods, and a large underground economy of "you name it" keep Cicero in the black. The mob influence is still here but not nearly to the point it was 10 years ago.

The new mayor is trying to clean up the image as a haven of drugs, prostitution, and 24 hour taverns. You would expect gang influences to be higher here but the Cicero police are pretty tough on gang member from the stories I've heard.

The town has so much money that they have initiated many freebie services for their largely lower class immigration population, Town hall gives away easter baskets during easter and Christmas presents along with hats and gloves and sweaters during Christmas. They also cater to the elderly, the mostly Caucasian voting population in town. If you are over 65, own a home in town for 5 or more years then the town pays for just about any repairs that are needed including new roofs, shoveling snow, mowing grass, and taxi service. Not a bad deal.

Have not heard of any resurgence lately as Cicero making any type of comeback with Caucasians but I don't see why not, it is close to downtown, has oodles of public transportation options and is a very interesting place.

I'll be interested to hear what others who live in the area have to say.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 05:34 PM
 
5 posts, read 62,760 times
Reputation: 13
I appreciate the feedback very much! Do you know what the crime rate is like? I am a single, 25 year old female who will be living alone. I don't want to feel unsafe while walking on the streets. I am assuming that most suburbs that are close to downtown are the same, but as much info as possible, is amazing.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Tri-Taylor
2,163 posts, read 4,153,019 times
Reputation: 1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyrae27 View Post
I appreciate the feedback very much! Do you know what the crime rate is like? I am a single, 25 year old female who will be living alone. I don't want to feel unsafe while walking on the streets. I am assuming that most suburbs that are close to downtown are the same, but as much info as possible, is amazing.
I wouldn't assume that all inner ring suburbs are the same. In 2004, Cicero had 34.1 crimes per 1,000. Oak Park had 54.1 per 1,000. Of course, you have to consider that there were 13 murders in Cicero, compared to only 1 in Oak Park, and 137 assaults in Cicero versus 37 in Oak Park. That is of course consistent with Cicero's lower income demographics -- more crimes of violence against family members and friends, as well as gang activity.

Cicero is definitely a gentrification candidate. NSH is right. Business Week ranked it runner up to East Garfield Park as the next up and coming area in Chicago. Good call. It has some great housing stock, a colorful history (to say the least!), plenty of vacant industrial land for new construction, and, obviously, proximity. If I had some extra cash lying around, I'd definitely consider picking up a two or three flat there. Not sure I'd live there, yet, but I certainly would invest.

Which brings us to your post. I don't know if Cicero has started its "up and coming" phase yet. Is there a particular reason you want to live in Cicero? Have artists and hipsters started moving there? That would be totally great to see but I hadn't heard that. Anyone?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 06:40 PM
 
5 posts, read 62,760 times
Reputation: 13
I am looking at Cierco for the location and price. It seems that for only being 12 miles from downtown that it is reasonably priced and it caught my eye. It seems to be the central point for my commute, where my friends live, and downtown. Is there a certain part of Cicero to stay away from? Like east or west?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Tri-Taylor
2,163 posts, read 4,153,019 times
Reputation: 1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyrae27 View Post
I am looking at Cierco for the location and price. It seems that for only being 12 miles from downtown that it is reasonably priced and it caught my eye. It seems to be the central point for my commute, where my friends live, and downtown. Is there a certain part of Cicero to stay away from? Like east or west?
I see. I think you definitely want to walk around the area you are considering buying/renting in day and night to make sure it's ok, and even talk to as many neighbors as you can. If Cicero is like, say, Logan Square, one block could be super nice and the next block over super scary. That's a common trait of "up and coming" areas. When you're planning to live in one, you have to take some extra time. If you're very time limited, and simply don't have time to investigate, you should probably look at Downtown Oak Park (Lake/Marion), the Depot District in Berwyn (Windsor/Oak Park), or Madison Street in Forest Park (Madison/Circle). Those are definitely safe areas and also close to public transit.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 07:53 PM
 
5 posts, read 62,760 times
Reputation: 13
That is good to know. I have a few appointments in Oak Park and in Berwyn this week, so I think that I will take your advice and check heavily into those areas. I appreciate your help very much! This is tough to try to figure out where to live when I am so far from that area right now!! Thank you again! Take care.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 08:18 PM
 
185 posts, read 526,629 times
Reputation: 76
Oak Park is great because the western part by Harlem has access to both the "L" and the Metra so no matter where your job is in the loop, you will be able to get there without too much of a walk in the winter (very important since 9-11 because you can't cut through many of the buildings because of security). The Metra is much safer at night because it rarely makes any stops between Oak Park and downtown -15 minutes express!! You can also get to the Metra if you live in the North section of Forest Park. I totally agree with BRU67 that the Madison Street area would be a great choice too. You can walk to the Blue Line. I'd live north of the Eisenhower because there's more restaurants, shops and bars there. Likewise, if in Oak Park I'd try to stay west of Scoville and north of Madison by the downtown area so I could catch the Metra or green line. Oak Park by far has more to do than any of the other options you mentioned. You also might try LaGrange which has only a 17 minute express ride on the Metra to Downtown. But if you can find something in budget in dowtown Oak Park I'd take it.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Tri-Taylor
2,163 posts, read 4,153,019 times
Reputation: 1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyrae27 View Post
That is good to know. I have a few appointments in Oak Park and in Berwyn this week, so I think that I will take your advice and check heavily into those areas. I appreciate your help very much! This is tough to try to figure out where to live when I am so far from that area right now!! Thank you again! Take care.
Cool, that may be for the best. I know the idea of going into a cutting edge area is intriguing but unless you really pay attention to what you're doing, it can be dangerous -- not to mention miserable and boring when you're afraid to walk anywhere after dark. Not saying Cicero is that bad but my feeling is you'd have to choose an area carefully. 10 years from now it probably will be great. Oak Park and Berwyn are largely safe, though, again, I still urge you to check out where you plan to live during the night (preferably a warm night) to make sure you're going to be comfortable there.

Good luck regardless. Let us know how it goes!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2007, 10:53 PM
 
3 posts, read 24,898 times
Reputation: 11
Default consider south cicero or berwyn

I live in berwyn and find it better than cicero. it's just the next town over. i live near cermak, which is close to I-290 and also to I-55. The mall is also very near. I work in downtown chicago and take the green line "L" to work. It's about less than 20 min on the "L"

The area I live in has a lot of 3 flats. rent i think is average 700-1200.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago Suburbs
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top