Neighborhood Spotlight: West Town


Overview:
Much of this area was historically part of the city's Polish Downtown, but now exists as a collection of distinct communities. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, living units in the ‘hip swath’ of the city are selling faster, on average, than any other homes in the city or suburbs. This includes West Town. As a “destination neighborhood,” West Town has all the restaurants (West Town Deli) and bars (Bangers and Lace) it needs, while also providing ample transportation for individuals who work in the city.

Evolving Factors:
Countless developments make West Town a renter’s paradise. The neighborhood, bordered by Division Street, Ashland Avenue, Grand Avenue and Western Avenue, is seeing a lot of growth around the Polish Triangle. The properties include East Village Lofts, at 1062 N. Ashland, which is expected in 2017; Luxe on Chicago on 1838 W. Chicago; Centrum Wicker Park at 1654 W. Division; the eponymous property at 1624 W. Division; and the 1650 W. Division Wicker Park Connection.

Connectivity:
West Town has the ideal confluence of proximity and culture. The “Hipster Highway” that is Milwaukee Avenue gives ample opportunity for bikers to traverse the area. The street was the first in Chicago to receive buffer-protected, curbside bike lanes, given that it sees thousands of commuters daily. The Division Blue Line stop provides access to the city, as well as to neighborhoods to the north. Also, the bus line, with stops all over, gives access to the 9, 66 and X9 lines.

Demographics:
According to information from Nielsen, the total population of West Town is 21,326 people; 51 percent are men and 49 percent are women. The average household income is $108,118, and 96 percent of residents are employed. The area has a buying power of $453 million. The renting population is 61 percent.

Retail & Dining:
Great bars and restaurants are all around West Town. The Bedford, is an American restaurant that is modeled in the style of 1920s bank – vault included. Creative Fatpour Tap works offers a bi-level brewpub and a 200-plus beer list and a pub menu. Lockdown Bar & Grill is a unique, prison-themed bar. WHISK is more of a relaxed place with a daily brunch menu and a rustic feel. And as for grocery shopping, there’s a Mariano’s on Chicago and Damen.

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West Town