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Cost of Living

How South Loop housing compares with three other neighborhoods

Chicago went house hunting in three price brackets—the starter price of $300,000, a mid-market price of $600,000, and the luxury step up to $1 million—to discover how the South Loop compared with other city and suburban locales. Our comparisons included the West Loop and River North, two city neighborhoods enjoying a recent construction boom as well as the benefits of being adjacent to downtown. In addition, we also tested the market in suburban Evanston, which is also on the lake.

After reviewing the data, it is possible to draw a few conclusions. Homebuyers will likely pay less per square foot for a residence in Evanston. Among neighborhoods closer to downtown, the South Loop easily undercuts prices in River North, and it is generally comparable (economically) to the West Loop. But the West Loop and River North are short on parks and relatively remote from Lake Michigan, two amenities where the South Loop scores high. By that measure, the South Loop is the bargain neighborhood.

SOUTH LOOP
WEST LOOP
RIVER NORTH
EVANSTON
221 E. Cullerton St.
$300,000

<<
933 W. Van Buren St.
$300,000
333 W. Hubbard St.
$300,000
1720 Maple Ave.
$292,500
FLOOR/SQ. FT.
4th/650
6th/704
4th/561
18th/695
PRICE PER LIVABLE
SQUARE FOOT
$461.54
$426.14
$534.76
$420.86
ROOMS
4 (1 bed/1 bath)
5 (2 bed/2 bath)
3 (1 bed/1 bath)
4 (1 bed/1 bath)
TAXES
$4,023.90
$4,002
$3,988.43
$4,704.29
PARKING SPACE  
$30,000
Included in sale price
$30,000
Included in sale price
ASSESSMENTS
$320 per month
$401 per month
$448 per month
$277 per month
COMMENTS
The unit has 12-foot ceilings
and views north to the Loop.
The condo is one block from
a Blue Line stop.
Views are east to North
Michigan Avenue.
The unit is in a new high-rise
in downtown Evanston.

1322 S. Wabash Ave. 
$599,000

<<
1 N. Halsted St.    
$603,150
520 W. Huron St.
$594,500
1421 Sherman Ave.
$600,000
FLOOR/SQ. FT.
10th/1,400
14th/1,111
5th/1,072
2nd/1,761
PRICE PER LIVABLE
SQUARE FOOT
$427.86
$542.89
$554.57
$340.72
ROOMS
6 (2 bed/2 bath)
5 (2 bed/2 bath-plus)
6 (3 bed/2 bath)
7 (3 bed/2 bath-plus)
TAXES
$6,722
N/A
$7,028.03
$10,447.21
PARKING SPACE
$35,000
Included in sale price
$30,000
Included in sale price
ASSESSMENTS
$661 per month
$840 per month
$599 per month
$724 per month
COMMENTS
This top-floor unit has
a 40-foot-long terrace.
This unit is in the contemporary
Skybridge building.
This condo has 11-foot ceilings
and a formal dining room.
The building is in the
heart of Evanston.

1101 S. State St.
$998,000

<<
Townhouse, W. Monroe St.
$989,000
Townouse, W. Superior St.
$1.01 million
House, Payne Street
$1.07 million
FLOOR/SQ. FT.
24th/1,988
Townhouse/2,184
Townhouse/1,207
House/3,430
PRICE PER LIVABLE
SQUARE FOOT
$502.01
$452.84
$836.79
$311.95
ROOMS
9 (3 bed/3 bath-plus)
10 (5 bed/4 bath-plus)
7 (3 bed/3 bath)
12 (5 bed/2 bath-plus)
TAXES
N/A
N/A
$8,903
$13,381
PARKING SPACE
One indoor parking space 
included in sale price
Attached two-and-a-half-car
garage included
Attached two-car garage
included in sale price
Attached two-car garage
included in sale price
ASSESSMENTS
$1,073 per month
$185 per month
$145 per month
None (house)
COMMENTS
This unit’s two terraces look east toward Grant Park.
This corner unit shares
a rooftop deck.
This townhouse is in
a gated community.
This gracious old French house sits on a sizable lot.
   
  METHODOLOGY: The chart, using data compiled by the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, shows typical properties that sold at or near the target price in the 12 months ending April 1, 2007. Because most South Loop homes are condos and townhouses, we looked first for attached housing in all our study areas. But in a few of those places, there were only single-family homes in our top price range. To calculate a home’s price per livable square foot, Chicago used the dimensions published on the various properties’ listings; square footage is approximate and does not include hallways, bathrooms, walk-in closets, basement rooms, or outdoor space. These figures do not conform with the square footage or price-per-square-foot that developers or real-estate agents calculated for the properties. For some new homes, property-tax information was not yet available; in those instances, we have inserted the symbol “N/A.” For the entry headed “Rooms,” the first number indicates the total number of rooms in the home; bathrooms are not included in this count. In the parenthetical that follows, the first number indicates the number of bedrooms and the second number indicates the number of bathrooms.
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