Neighborhood Spotlight: South Loop

South Loop

Perfect for downtown professionals wanting affordable homes, cool restaurants, lakefront parks, famous music venues, like the classic blues bar Buddy Guys Legends and the Chicago Symphony and one of Chicago’s top tourist destinations: Museum Campus, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the ever-evolving masterpiece of Millennium Park where summer festivals attract people from all over the world and spill into the 320 acres of Grant Park for the Taste of Chicago, Blues festival, Jazz festival and Lollapalooza.


Why buy there?

It’s a great investment. South Loop household income has increased 48% since 2000 and the population has grown even more, by 53%.


Who lives there?

40% of the 47,000 households are families with children in a total population of 97,000. Average household income is $100,000, with $67,000 as the median. 29% have a graduate degree and 63% have their Bachelor’s. The median age is 33. Many are drawn to the racial diversity of the South Loop, which has the highest percentage of African-Americans and Asians of any downtown neighborhood. And Chinatown is tucked away in the southwest corner.


Why move there?

You can walk everywhere. A 91/100 from Walkscore.com. South Loop is a walker’s paradise. Daily errands don’t need a car.


Printer’s Row

Urban loft condos now fill the commercial spaces in what was formerly the center of the Midwest’s publishing industry. History lives on in the venerable, independent book store and annual summer lit fest here.


Museum Campus

Home of Chicago’s magnetic three world-class (and fun!) natural science museums on the lakefront

  • Adler Planetarium: Interactive scale model of the solar system, a few space rocks, and two high-tech dome theaters with nifty “star shows”.
  • Field Museum of Natural History: Home to the world’s largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and to pieces from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Kids love the Egyptian exhibit, and the Hall of Gems. Traveling exhibitions tend to be excellent.
  • Shedd Aquarium: Home to an overwhelming collection of the world’s marine life, among the very best you’ll ever see. The Pacific Northwest-themed Oceanarium features otters, beluga whales, and a panoramic view of Lake Michigan, a free dolphin show, a floor-to-ceiling mesmerizing view of a Philippine coral reef environment, complete with dozens of sharks.

Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops

490 in South Loop, including: Everest (one of America’s very best restaurants, not just Chicago’s), Mercat a la Planxa (creative Catalan tapas and cocktails in a swish setting), The Gage (Inventive American staples, an encyclopedia of beers and Millennium Park views), Kai Sushi (amazing sushi at a reasonable price), Flo & Santos (the favorite pizza joint of locals) and Sofi (upscale romantic Northern Italian trattoria).


Schools

Great private schools, colleges and graduate schools abound here, including The British School of Chicago, Phillips Academy High School, Jones College Prep High School, DePaul University’s Keller Graduate School of Management, The John Marshall Law School, DePaul Law School, Columbia College, Roosevelt University, East-West University and the downtown campus of DePaul University.

The Chicago Public School locator lists more than 10 public schools for the South Loop zip codes of 60605, 60607 and 60616, including South Loop Elementary School, Jones College Prep, Skinner West and Whitney Young.


Public transportation

93/100 transit score from Walkscore.com for “world class public transportation.” 29 bus, 4 subway lines: blue, red, orange, green; 1 rail line, free trolleys to Museum Campus.

Find the best real estate listings in the South Loop here.

Eileen Romito

Eileen is the Director of Agent Operations at Truepad.

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