The Andersonville | Edgewater Neighborhood of Chicago
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Andersonville Street Coordinates: 5000 N to 5600 N
1300 W to 1800
Edgewater, Chicago’s Hottest ‘Hood?
by Geno Petro
(repost from my September 21,
It’s not just me. Chicago Magazine recently named Edgewater one of the city’s ‘Best’ neighborhoods in its March 2014 edition. And I concur. Originally built as an ‘in-town’ summer home destination for the moneyed-up traders and lace-curtain socialites of pre-twentieth century Chicago, this diverse community, with its lakefront location and eclectic housing stock, is one of the most interesting little spots in the entire Midwest. In fact, if
Edgewater, like so many of Chicago’s other designated communities (77 in all), is actually a residential cluster of several sub-divisions with Edgewater Beach,
Lakewood Balmoral, Edgewater Glen, and Andersonville being the most prominent. Several smaller sections–some only a few blocks square–include Magnolia Glen, Edgewater Triangle, West Andersonville, and West Andersonville Gardens
About the Edgewater Neighborhood
Running from Foster Avenue to Devon Avenue, Edgewater cozies up to the north city shoreline of Lake Michigan while simultaneously stretching ten blocks westward to the Ravenswood Metra tracks. Standing within these parameters is a mix of stately circa 1890s wood-frame single family houses, 1920s era brick apartment buildings-turned-condo, a string of 1960-70’s modern
- Clark Street (Andersonville proper)
- Bryn Mawr Avenue (Historic District)
- Broadway (mostly commercial)
Edgewater also boasts the furthest northern access to the city’s celebrated Lakefront Trail (140 blocks of bike and jogging–or in my case, slow walking–paths) that continues southward to the South Shores neighborhood at 79thStreet. Every eight blocks is a mile in Chicago so for those of you counting on your fingers and toes, that’s 17.5 miles–although there are approximately another 10 or so additional miles of twists, turns and winding bends through a dozen adjoining parks, museum complexes, and beaches.
Andersonville Business District in Edgewater
Perhaps the most recognizable (and hence, popular) subdivision of Edgewater is the Andersonville business district on Clark Street. Known primarily for its Swedish heritage and sidewalk café vibe, this stretch of restaurants and family-owned storefronts, straddled by several adjacent blocks of red-brick two-flats and wood frame Victorian homes, has been propping up the surrounding real estate micro-economy for years. Places of note include the:
- Swedish American Museum
- The Swedish Bakery (OMG!)
- Ann Sather’s Restaurant (sweet buns to die for)
- Women & Children First bookstore
- Kopi Café (uber-cool coffee and dessert place)
- Calo (one of my all-time favorite Italian restaurants)
There is also the obligatory Starbuck’s, Einstein Bagels, and Potbelly contingent for the less ‘local’ minded epicureans (and suburb-fleeing new arrivals).
West Andersonville Neighborhood
Just west in (duh) West Andersonville is a small sub-community of quaint apartment buildings (mostly red brick and
Lakewood Balmoral Neighborhood
Four blocks to the east, single family homes in the
Lakewood Balmoral neighborhood have likewise appreciated in value over this same period. However, inventory is low and demand is high. There are currently only two properties on the market in this upscale enclave: a brick American four-square (with radiator heat and no central air) listed at $599,000; and a gut-rehabbed tri-level greystone listed at $1,099,000. In the past 12 months, nine homes have closed in this section between $635,000 and $1,430,000.
Home Price Recovery in Edgewater
When the local housing bubble began to deflate in late 2007, Andersonville home values (both east and west) held
Sheridan Road Condos
A few blocks even further east lies the
The most notable and architecturally significant of these high rises is the former Edgewater Beach Hotel (now a ‘co-op’) often referred to as the ‘Pink Palace.’ A string of mostly commercial businesses–muffler shops, gas
Public Transportation in Edgewater
As in most neighborhoods of Chicago, public transportation access in Edgewater is a mere two block jaunt in any direction; be it the elevated Red Line train (‘L) or CTA bus, several of which have express routes directly to and from downtown Chicago. The streets are also awash with orange and black hybrid taxis and year-round avid bicyclists—both groups silently speeding along in their own mindset—so extra caution must always be taken before changing lanes, parallel parking, or even opening a car door. With a geographic square foot area of less than two square miles and
Major grocery shopping options in the area include Whole Foods, Mariano’s, Aldi’s, and longtime local stalwart, Jewel/Osco. And, as is the case in most urban areas, a variety of mom-and-pop corner stores, specialty food shops, and sidewalk fruit vendors are abundant. There are also several community theaters, a nearby doggy beach, and plenty of wide open city park space.
Rental Market in Edgewater
Finally, the rental markets in Edgewater and Andersonville are among the most attractive on Chicago’s North Side (at least on a dollar to square foot basis). And for this reason, inventory is always tight. There are currently only 58 available condo and townhomes being offered (keep in mind the population of the neighborhood is 56,000) ranging in monthly rent from $700 for a low floor studio in a mid-rise to $3,200 for a luxury two bedroom/two bath on the lake. On
There are many other privately-owned ‘non-condo’ apartment buildings in Edgewater but understand that these, too, hover around 95% occupancy year round. Also, it is important to note that Chicago has two distinct rental ‘seasons’: from October 1st through September 30th the following year; and May 1st through April 30th
On a positive note, the City of Chicago passed an ordinance last year greatly restricting the landlord handling of rental security deposits of tenants so the trend these past few seasons has been: ‘No Security Deposit’ but instead, ‘Non-Refundable Move-In/Move-Out Fee Required’ (usually $500 per person). And like most other neighborhoods in Chicago, your four-legged furry friends are generally not welcome.
All things considered–whether a beachfront
New on the Market in Chicago
NEARBY ANDERSONVILLE NEIGHBORHOODS
Geno Petro | CHICAGO REALTOR®