"Go West Young Man" - Chicago’s Rediscovered Westside
Chicago, Illinois, May 15, 2007 -- Traditionally a center of commerce, Chicago’s Loop is now a residential district, adding more than 80,000 dwelling units during the past 15 years. The City’s residential sales increased nearly 20%. In addition, although the market is returning to more normal sales levels, the move to the City remains a long-term trend and vacant land development opportunities remain.
The redevelopment is spilling over to areas located within a five miles of the Loop. Communities including Lincoln Park (north), the South Loop and Bronzeville (south) have enjoyed growth. The communities to the north and south have been redeveloped the soonest because of their proximity to the Lake. These communities are now running out of affordable land. Developers search further out, but commuting distance starts becoming an issue. As a result, the community currently experiencing the most rapid redevelopment is the Greater West Side.
Horatio Alger’s “Go West Young Man” phrase applies directly to Chicago’s West Side. However, why does the West Side have more land available in closer to the Loop than other areas?
According to Nat Zvislo, research director of the Real Estate Capital Institute headquartered in Homan Square/North Lawndale: “Urban migration patterns are the answers.” Zvislo believes the community lost, favor because of the post-World War II desire to move to suburbia. Jobs followed to suburbia, as well.
During the second half of the century, the City tried to reverse the population exodus. Urban renewal by demolition of older neighborhoods and constructing high-rise public housing proved to be an unsuccessful strategic planning formula. Urban unrest throughout the 1960s and 70s led to further disinvestment and housing abandonment. Therefore land supply unintentionally increased.
Within the last decade concerted public and private redevelopment initiatives steered by strong leadership under Mayor Daley paved the way for one of the most successful redevelopment campaigns in the United States. Today, the Greater West Side is one of America’s most exciting “turnaround” stories in America.
The Real Estate Capital Institute is a volunteer-based research organization that tracks realty rates data for debt and equity yields. The Institute posts daily and historical benchmark rates including treasuries, bank prime and LIBOR. Furthermore, call the Real Estate Capital RateLine at 7RE-CAPITAL (773-227-4825) for hourly rate updates.
- Contact Information
- Nat Zvislo
- Research Director
- The Real Estate Capital Institute
- Contact via E-mail
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