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Old 04-08-2008, 07:12 AM
45 posts, read 187,868 times
Reputation: 20


Hi, I have read the new movers thread and found nothing about lofts in neighborhoods (if there is a thread about it I'm sorry!)

I have a few questions regarding the south loop and west loop.

I have read that the south loop is not the safest place? I will be around financial - michigan from roosevelt down to probably 16th st. Is that area safe?

Also, what about the west loop? Is it "safe" there? Also, can I get groceries simply by walking?

I am also looking at Wicker Park and Lincoln Park (honestly, I am all over the map here) and I initially had interest in Wicker Park but a friend from chicago told me that Wicker Park is "shady". I asked her to explain and got nothing out of her. I mean I checked that block by block chicago crime site and it looked okay. But yeah. Any input on those areas is fine.

And also, if you live in a loft, tell me which one and where!! I am looking at spending $1300-$1600 a month and I have found a few up for rent in only the west and south loop.

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Old 04-08-2008, 07:34 AM
Location: University Village
440 posts, read 1,504,048 times
Reputation: 252
None of these areas are remotely dangerous if you have the slightest amount of common sense.

Make the decision based on how close to the Loop you need/want to be, and if that is not an issue, then based on amenities and general neighborhood ambiance.

The West Loop starts roughly at Greektown (Halsted) and runs to Ashland, between the Eisenhower and Fulton. It is probably the biggest pure loft district in the city, and there is a Dominicks on Halsted between Washington and Madison, as well as a Jewel at Roosevelt/Ashland. There is also a Greek grocery store and bakery on Halsted.

Personally, I prefer the West Loop to the South Loop because the streets are quieter, and safer/more pleasant to ride a bicycle on (I bike a lot), but both are great places with excellent access to the Loop and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either.

Lincoln Park and Wicker Park have been discussed to death in other threads, and they are great places, too. They are not as "lofty", or as close to the Loop, so that puts you in a true commuting mode if you work downtown.

I live in University Commons, which is a former produce warehouse in University Village at 15th and Morgan. A good 1 bd + den will go for around that much (around $1400.00), but calling that area South or West Loop is a stretch, so I will have to defer to people who actually live in those areas.

Last edited by NearWestSider; 04-08-2008 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:16 AM
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 31,648,338 times
Reputation: 3800
Wicker Park is hardly shady- 10 years ago it was, but no more. But you won't really find any lofts there or in Lincoln Park- just normal apartments.

If you want a loft, it'll almost certainly be in the West or South Loops, both of which can be a bit sketchy depending on where you are, esp. the farther west or south you go.

I don't know a lot about the west loop, but the south loop is almost all residential. Retail has been slowly filling in, but you won't find the same vibrant nightlife as Wicker or Lincoln Park. More restaurants are opening up though.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:00 AM
45 posts, read 187,868 times
Reputation: 20
how is the area around the Grand-Blue stop? Is that area safe? and are there grocery stores around there I can walk to?
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:32 PM
Location: University Village
440 posts, read 1,504,048 times
Reputation: 252
There has been a lot of development in recent years around Grand/Halsted, but most of it is residential. I would not characterize it as a booming commercial district, although there is some of that, too. The Funky Buddha Lounge is right there, if that's a positive, as is Iguana Cafe, which is usually reasonably full, and there has been a bar on the corner of Grand and Halsted since the beginning of time. There used to be a famous Italian restaurant just east of Halsted (sorry, forgot the name), which I believe is still there. Grand Ave. was once THE biggest Italian neighborhood in Chicago, and D'Amato's bakery (also famous) is just west down Grand.

Grocery store? None that I'm aware of. There may still be some small storefront ones, but you'll either need a car or a CTA pass to do major groceries if you live around there. Minor groceries can be handled by bicycle.

The Halsted bus is a major N-S bus line which takes you North to Lincoln Park/DePaul or South to UIC/Pilsen/Comiskey Park. The Grand bus is a major E-W line that takes you to the Red Line at State Street and to the lakefront at Navy Pier. Halsted, Kinzie, and Milwaukee are all major bikeways.

Grand/Halsted still has an edgy feel to it, which, being a loft-seeker, may appeal to you. It is actually more developed than it appears, however, so keep in mind that any edge is, at this point, mostly cosmetic, a la Wicker Park. The only down side I can think of is that for whatever reason, you just don't see a whole lot of people on the street around there.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:51 AM
Location: Bucktown, Chicago and Red Wing View, Antioch, IL
15 posts, read 18,523 times
Reputation: 18
Live in Bucktown. Or Lincoln Park on North Ave. Side. Whole Foods Market is right there, plus Trader Joes. But lofts might be expensive.
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:28 AM
28,453 posts, read 85,452,690 times
Reputation: 18729
No real reason to revive a a SIX YEAR DORMANT thread though I half wonder if the OP's friend that classified Wicker Park as "shady" might not have meant in regards to things like real estate developers and the (then) unsupportable prices that contributed to the collapse of the bubble...
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