Condos with stunning river views and many other amenities are being constructed in Avondale, a neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest side with a working class history and which boasts a location overlooking the Chicago River. A diverse housing mix includes loft-style condos, multi-unit condo buildings, two flats, frame houses and modest brick bungalows.
These create a vibrant residential scene in the neighborhood that is just west of the North Branch of the Chicago River between Addison Street on the north and Diversey Street on the south and which extends west to the tracks of the Soo Line Railroad (once the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul Pacific). Prairie and Indian trails existed in the area prior to the 19th century that was later settled by farmers. The city of Chicago annexed the area in 1889 and it flourished as a working class enclave due, in large part, to is proximity to rail lines the the river.
Although many of its modest structures were frame, it earned the name “Bricktown” because it was a site of brick factories and many clay pits. Demand for brick was great for rebuilding following the Chicago Fire in 1871. It also drew businesses that built yachts for well-heeled customers and a yard that built small naval vessels during World War II. Today, those old businesses along the river have been replaced.
The river’s shores are now occupied by luxury townhouses, upscale condominiums, and shopping malls. Many of these condo structures offer amenities to appeal to today’s buyers. Whether they seek a state-of-the-art exercise facility or a concierge available to book theatre tickets or ensure a package is delivered safely, residents of these condo buildings are demading top-notch service to make life easier and they are getting it. The Shoemaker Lofts in the former Florsheim Shoe Factory at Belmont Avenue and Pulaski Road is an example of a development that puts a priority on amenities and service. The development includes a business center, rooftop deck and a fitness center. Units are priced from $250,000. Expressways and public transit via elevated train and bus lines means this neighborhood is easily accessible The area is also attractive because it tends to be more affordable than other communites closer to Chicago’s business district or Lake Michigan.
Prices for condos range from about $100,000 for one-bedroom units to between $380,00 and $400,000 for three bedroom units in new construction in highly desireable developments near the river. Avondale is home to a multi-cultural population. While many corners of the earth are represented, it has significant Polish population and many of its restaurants reflect that. Mexican, Latin, Chinese restaurants also are to be found in Avondale.
A well-known destination is the Abbey Pub, 3420 West Grace Stree, which offers live music, delcious pub food, and imported beers. For condos that tend to be less expensive than other trendier neighborhoods, there are few better places to look in Chicago than Avondale. The multi-cultural atmosphere, convenient location, and the views offered by the river are other of its highly sought assets.