Uptown doesn’t have the best rep, but we predict it’ll pay to put down roots in Sheridan Park—the stretch of the neighborhood bounded by Lawrence Avenue to the north, Montrose Avenue to the south, Clark Street to the west and Racine Avenue to the east. Here’s why.
The Red Line’s getting a revamp.
Expect the Lawrence and Wilson Red Line stops—between a 5- and 15-minute walk for Sheridan Park residents—to follow in the spiffed-up tracks of the North/Clybourn station, as part of $1 billion in state and anticipated federal grants dedicated to renovating the Red Line. Lawrence should be bright and shiny by early next year: CTA president Forrest Claypool recently announced it as one of seven stations whose face-lift will begin this summer. Though no timeline has been announced for Wilson (public hearings are slated for sometime this summer), officials are calling for a complete gut and rebuild of the 100-year-old station.
A new alderman—the first in 24 years—is fighting crime.
In the past three months, Uptown logged fewer police-reported crimes than even Lakeview. According to the Chicago Police Department’s ClearMap crime summary on April 18, Uptown was 27th in overall crime among Chicago’s 77 designated community areas, with 1,087 crimes in the past 90 days; Lakeview was 20th with 1,542; the Loop was 14th with 1,732. Skeptics will say fewer crimes are reported in Uptown because fewer cops patrol the streets, but 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman seems dedicated to improving the ’hood. Among his accomplishments: spurring a four-month undercover drug investigation that netted 18 arrests.
You can walk to the grocery store. And the park. And Target.
Walk Score, a site that calculates how convenient neighborhoods are based on proximity to amenities like stores and parks, puts Sheridan Park as the third most walkable ’hood in Chicago, just behind Near North and Printers Row. We suspect much of this is thanks to the new Target and Aldi on Broadway near Montrose. There’s also food and entertainment at the ready: Magnolia Café for casual fine dining, Broncho Billy Park for green space and, steps outside the official neighborhood boundaries, the Aragon, the Riviera and the Green Mill for live music. That’s not to mention the Uptown Theatre, whose $63 million renovation is tentatively slated to start at the end of next year.
Rents are cheap.
Of course, the key attribute of an up-and-coming neighborhood is it’s not quite there yet—meaning you won’t pay the premiums you do to live in, say, Lincoln Park. At press time, the average rent in Sheridan Park was just $770 for a one-bedroom and $1,330 for a two-bedroom, according to Walk Score, compared to a $1,474 and $1,915 average for one- and two-bedrooms, respectively, in Lincoln Park. One recent Craigslist hunt showed a Sheridan Park one-bedroom with granite countertops for $850 and a beautifully lit three-bedroom penthouse for just $1,750. For buyers, Zillow advertised two-bedroom condos for as little as $160,000.
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