Neighborhood Highlight: Chicago’s Booming West Loop
Sitting just west of downtown is Chicago’s West Loop, an area that is experiencing a development boom quite unlike anything in recent memory. The West Loop area is bordered to the north by West Grand Avenue, to the south by I-290, to the west by Ashland Avenue and to the east by the Chicago River. The entire neighborhood covers only about one-and-a-half square miles, but packed inside is block after block of renovation and new construction — and some of the most desirable homes in the Second City. Here’s a look at all that’s happening in West Loop right now, as well some of the housing options to enjoy if you’re interested in living here.
Corporate Headquarters are Flocking to West LoopWest Loop is right in the heart of Chicago. Chicago is right in the heart of the country and it has two major airports, making it easy to quickly get to either coast. For these reasons, West Loop has become an ideal spot for corporate headquarters. McDonald’s placed its new headquarters on Randolph Street in West Loop, and it’s creating a buzz with the recently opened flagship restaurant on the ground floor of its West Loop building. This brand new McDonald’s restaurant will serve a rotating menu of items sold at McDonald’s locations around the world. You might find an Angus burger from Canada, a salad from France, cheese-and-bacon-loaded fries from Australia or other items on any given day. Google discovered the magic of West Loop back in 2015 when it opened a Chicago office on Morgan Street. West Loop and Fulton Market were already emerging areas, but Google’s presence brought an unprecedented validity to the neighborhood. Even the Chicago Artists Coalition, a 44-year-old non-profit organization, is picking up and moving to West Loop, leaving its old location on North Carpenter Street for new digs on West Fulton Street. As the pace of development continues unabated, more and more commercial office space will mean more and more opportunities for both local and national companies to move their operations to this popular area.
No Shortage of New Bars, Restaurants and HotelsIf you’re thinking West Loop is all business, don’t be fooled. This neighborhood is also home to some of the best new bars, restaurants and hotels in Chicago. OpenTable recently released its list of the best 100 restaurants in the country, and 3 of them are located in West Loop. The list includes Carnivale (where Chef Rudolfo Cuadros is known for his Latin-inspired items), Duck Duck Goat (Chinese fare including potstickers, short ribs and duck fried rice), as well as Girl & the Goat (a long-time Chicago staple that opened its West Loop location in 2010). Stephanie Izard serves as executive chef at both Duck Duck Goat and Girl & the Goat, which are owned and managed by Chicago’s renowned Boka Restaurant Group. When the minds behind Oriole sought to open a new Chicago cocktail bar, they chose West Loop. Expect Kumiko to open this summer at 630 W. Lake Street — with star bartender Julie Momose joining the team. If you’re visiting West Loop and you feel like sleeping over, you’ll find plenty of fine hotel options. The Ace Hotel sits right in the heart of the West Loop area. In-development boutique hotel projects in West Loop also include the 58-story Equinox Hotel at 725 W. Randolph Street and the 12-story Hoxton Hotel in the Fulton Market District.
Housing Options Old and NewJust a few years ago, the idea of living in Chicago’s West Loop area was unthinkable. Traditionally, this part of the city has been home to meatpacking operations, warehouses and other industry. Waste management company Republic Services even owns a significant piece of land in West Loop — and it’s trying to cash in on these parcels once used to store heaps of trash. But what was unthinkable just a few years ago is now a wish in the minds of many prospective buyers — living in West Loop. And the development boom extends to residential towers and other properties. At 900 W. Washington, you’ll find a 10-story boutique condo project developed by Taris Real Estate. The building will include 22 units, with some of the larger units featuring private outdoor spaces. At Hayden West Loop, you’ll find another condo project, this one a pair of 9-story towers that include a total of 56 units. The West Loop anticipates a new pair of 9 story, 28 unit condo buildings designed by Booth Hansen. From Sulo Development, the combined 56 unit project will offer two parking spaces per residence with construction having already begun for the first tower at 1111 W. Washington Boulevard. The second structure will be located at 19 N. May Street, but has not begun construction as of yet. Plans for 111 S. Peoria have evolved from a 13-story, 215-unit development to 79 condo units after push back from the community. Located east of Mary Bartelme Park, the former parking lot will be transformed by LG Development with architect Pappageorge Haymes Partners and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. You find other pockets of condos and apartments built inside the historic structures that once served as warehouses and industrial plants. (If you’re interested in keeping up with new West Loop development, use this handy tracker on the neighborhood association’s website.) A look at the open market shows a number of available options. If you’re interested in living in Chicago’s West Loop, expect to pay in the 300s for a 1-bedroom condo, the 400s or 500s for a 2-bedroom, and closer to $1 million for anything topping 2,000 square feet.
Let Us Help You Find Your West Loop Dream HomeIs living in Chicago’s West Loop your dream? The KlopasStratton Team is in the business of making those dreams come true. We bring experience, knowledge and a deep commitment to prospective homebuyers in Chicago, and we can help you successfully navigate your options when looking in even the hottest neighborhoods. Contact us today about exploring homes in Chicago’s West Loop.