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 2 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.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 05-04-2010, 01:52 AM
 
5 posts, read 18,269 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Hi Everyone,

I've been sifting through these threads for quite awhile now and found some very useful tidbits, and I was wondering if I could get some info more specific to my situation: I'm going to be moving to the Chicago area in mid-June to begin working in South Holland. I'm looking for a place to move that fits the following:

1. Decently affordable
2. Easy/tolerable commute to South Holland, and a not-insane trip to get to downtown Chicago (I'm a twenty-something single, with some friends in the city)
3. Won't get me shot.

I don't need much, but I'm just curious about some of the areas; from what I've read it can go from "Awesome place to live" to "Drive by! Duck!" in the space of a mile or two, so I'm trying to be extra cautious here. I've heard Oak Lawn and Oak Forest floated a bit, and found some affordable apts. listed in those cities. How are they to live in? Any other suggestions?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-04-2010, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Central, IL
3,408 posts, read 3,579,651 times
Reputation: 1371
Maybe you would want to consider Calumet City. It is even more affordable, very easy commute to South Holland. Easy trip to get to downtown Chicago. And wont get you shot...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2010, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Mokena, Illinois
947 posts, read 2,115,479 times
Reputation: 634
Oak Lawn is more congested, but has more shopping opportunities and is a stone's throw from Chicago's southwest side. There are two hospitals down the street from each other, Christ and Little Co. of Mary (Evergreen Pk.) Chicago Ridge, Ford City and Evergreen Plaza malls are all a short drive, but the last two are of questionable safety in my opinion. There is still a strip of stores in downtown Oak Lawn with street parking.
Most of the houses are older, but there were pockets newer construction a few years back. Because of the proximity to the hospitals, there is a population of hospital personnel living in Oak Lawn. Schools are so-so.
Oak Forest is a place I know a bit about as I lived there for 12 years. Very little commerce as opposed to Oak Lawn, no "old Oak Forest" downtown section. Have to go to Orland, Crestwood or Tinley for everything other than food shopping. Cicero is just plain ugly and needs an enema or blood transfusion to give it purpose other than travel.
But, schools are decent-they just built a new junior high. Oak Forest High is ranked higher than most of the others in the area. Little trouble in the school.
Central Ave is a 25 mile an hour road that crawls. It has a library, post office, Jewel and Food For Less all in walking distance of each other.
There are bike and walking trails surrounding Oak Forest. The neighborhoods are safe to walk for the most part. There are areas of apartments on 159th near Cicero where the police are frequently called to. But after having lived in Chicago for 38 years, it was quiet suburban living for me.
Bonus, close proximity to I 57. Also, if you are going to work in South Holland, you can either take the I57-80/94 route or drive down 159th.
Both are affordable, Oak Forest probably more so.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2010, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Chicago: Beverly, Woodlawn
1,966 posts, read 5,344,352 times
Reputation: 698
Evergreen Plaza (aka Everblack Plaza) is 99% black, but I really wouldn't say that it is of questionable safety. Does anything dangerous really happen there? I go a few times a month and it always seems pretty quiet. Beyond some theft (common at every mall) I've never heard anything noteworthy. With a few exceptions it doesn't have much that I need, but I wouldn't say that it isn't safe.

Oak Lawn is a pretty decent, tidy working class suburb with many modest areas and some pockets that are actually pretty nice (mainly west of cicero). In no way is it a destination for the professional or upwardly mobile class (I understand that it once was to some extent), and its heyday definitely ended probably 25 years ago. It seems to be struggling to reinvent itself, with some successes and some failures. Downtown by the train station is updated and pretty nice, but there are also a lot of new, empty storefronts, and many dated businesses that won't be around in 10 years. A data point -- I know a lot of doctors at Christ and only one lives in the area. The others live in Beverly, Palos, Orland, or Oak Park. There are tons of stores along 95th street -- some attract a lot of poor and working class blacks from the east (and now north), others serve mostly locals. Nothing rough about the area, though, but it's not particularly charming either. When factoring in price it could hit the spot, particularly some of the new rentals near downtown.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2010, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Mokena, Illinois
947 posts, read 2,115,479 times
Reputation: 634
By hospital personnel, I meant techs, nurses, office workers, etc. Christ is a pretty large size complex by southside standards.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2010, 04:41 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,269 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the info, everyone. I've already found a few affordable places in both cities at complexes that I've found pretty positive reviews on. I'm leaning towards Oak Forest, mainly due to the shorter work commute.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-06-2010, 09:03 AM
 
5 posts, read 18,269 times
Reputation: 10
Quick follow up for those of you that are familiar with the area: The apartment at the top of my list price/size/amenity-wise is at 147th and South Central. Is this a decent area? Anything in terms of restaurants, stores, or parks nearby?

I'm also looking at public transportation into Chicago from there. It seems that Oak Forest Metra station (around 159th and Cicero) and the Midlothian station (147th and Pulaski) would both be about 2 miles away. I don't mind walking that far, but I've already heard shady things about the 159th and Cicero area from a few places. Would the Midlothian station be better to walk to? Any other manageable ways to get into the city?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2010, 12:28 PM
 
11 posts, read 22,816 times
Reputation: 10
Default your pick

I have lived in Oak Forest for 10 years. I currently live in neighboring Tinley Park. Oak Forest is a pleasant place to live. In fact, my wife and I are looking to buy a home instead of renting and I can't find a home that we like in our price range in Tinley so we are looking in Oak Forest. Like most towns, including suburbs, you will have nice areas and less desirable areas. In my opinion, and that is just what it is, an opinion, the complex at 147th and Central, though spacious, and affordable, can sometimes have people that are a nuisance to live with. I'm not saying that it is all like that, but lets be honest. People ask questions on here for a reason and they expect an honest answer. This complex gets a significant amount of crime, ie. Domestic disputes, noise violations, disorderly conduct, etc. So what you're looking at is a lower class of people living there mostly. There are many nicer places to rent from in Oak forest. 159th and Cicero is far from bad or crime filled. There are some shady apartments over there near the train station. That is what people are talking about. Check out the area near 158-159th near central, and west of there. No suburb in Chicago has good reliable public transportation. If you rely heavily on public transit I highly suggest moving into the city.
I for one love Oak Forest, and Tinley Park areas. I hope wherever you choose to make your home it is a community that you enjoy living in.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Suburbs of Chicago
1,070 posts, read 2,564,958 times
Reputation: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaloneJill View Post
Oak Lawn is more congested, but has more shopping opportunities and is a stone's throw from Chicago's southwest side. There are two hospitals down the street from each other, Christ and Little Co. of Mary (Evergreen Pk.) Chicago Ridge, Ford City and Evergreen Plaza malls are all a short drive, but the last two are of questionable safety in my opinion. There is still a strip of stores in downtown Oak Lawn with street parking.
Most of the houses are older, but there were pockets newer construction a few years back. Because of the proximity to the hospitals, there is a population of hospital personnel living in Oak Lawn. Schools are so-so.
Oak Forest is a place I know a bit about as I lived there for 12 years. Very little commerce as opposed to Oak Lawn, no "old Oak Forest" downtown section. Have to go to Orland, Crestwood or Tinley for everything other than food shopping. Cicero is just plain ugly and needs an enema or blood transfusion to give it purpose other than travel.
But, schools are decent-they just built a new junior high. Oak Forest High is ranked higher than most of the others in the area. Little trouble in the school.
Central Ave is a 25 mile an hour road that crawls. It has a library, post office, Jewel and Food For Less all in walking distance of each other.
There are bike and walking trails surrounding Oak Forest. The neighborhoods are safe to walk for the most part. There are areas of apartments on 159th near Cicero where the police are frequently called to. But after having lived in Chicago for 38 years, it was quiet suburban living for me.
Bonus, close proximity to I 57. Also, if you are going to work in South Holland, you can either take the I57-80/94 route or drive down 159th.
Both are affordable, Oak Forest probably more so.
I personally like both, but if I had my choice, Oak Forest all the way. I've thought about it recently. Oak Forest is just WAY more convienvent and closer to good shopping and it's not nearly as noisy and congested as Oak Lawn. Both are great towns, but sorry, not Oak Lawn for me
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Suburbs of Chicago
1,070 posts, read 2,564,958 times
Reputation: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajolotl View Post
Evergreen Plaza (aka Everblack Plaza) is 99% black, but I really wouldn't say that it is of questionable safety. Does anything dangerous really happen there? I go a few times a month and it always seems pretty quiet. Beyond some theft (common at every mall) I've never heard anything noteworthy. With a few exceptions it doesn't have much that I need, but I wouldn't say that it isn't safe.

Oak Lawn is a pretty decent, tidy working class suburb with many modest areas and some pockets that are actually pretty nice (mainly west of cicero). In no way is it a destination for the professional or upwardly mobile class (I understand that it once was to some extent), and its heyday definitely ended probably 25 years ago. It seems to be struggling to reinvent itself, with some successes and some failures. Downtown by the train station is updated and pretty nice, but there are also a lot of new, empty storefronts, and many dated businesses that won't be around in 10 years. A data point -- I know a lot of doctors at Christ and only one lives in the area. The others live in Beverly, Palos, Orland, or Oak Park. There are tons of stores along 95th street -- some attract a lot of poor and working class blacks from the east (and now north), others serve mostly locals. Nothing rough about the area, though, but it's not particularly charming either. When factoring in price it could hit the spot, particularly some of the new rentals near downtown.
I don't think it's past its prime, just as you said, not a destination like Orland and Tinley seem to be.

Not a rough area at all. Yes, there will a spot or two of working-class (sometimes not working at all class) minorities in the area, but that doesn't seem to bother anything? I've never heard of any problems, and I am in Oak Lawn on a regular basis.
Reply With Quote 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.


Reply
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 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 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
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

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, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top