Central Lake View has so many coveted blocks that calling out one over others is a delicate proposition. Tranquility plays a role, and so does charm. And for real estate, whether you fix on six or seven-figure sales and listings determines a lot. Isolating the last six months of transactions and allowing for my own on-the-ground impressions, the 3700-3800 blocks of North Wayne Avenue emerge as perhaps the hottest stretch in all Lake View.
About eight years ago a wave of two-flat conversions swept through Wayne Avenue. Brian West bought one intended for another buyer and left hanging in the recession. “It’s a comfortable, peaceful street and I’ve watched it become a magnet for young families,” West says. “There are 25 kids ten and under on the block.”
After the conversions came the teardowns. There are no tiny worker’s cottages to descend on, so brick and graystone two-flats in sorry shape got the axe—those that just a few years earlier might have been converted into lovely four-bedroom homes. Now six beds is the norm, with multi-car parking and an extra story.
Wayne is one of those streets fragmented again and again by cemeteries, newer housing developments, and other anomalies that disrespect the grid. It’s a traffic-calming godsend. There are segments of Wayne in Lincoln Park, Lake View, Andersonville, and Rogers Park, and this one runs just three blocks between Addison and Byron Streets.
These circumstances have surely helped it stand tall among nearby peers Lakewood, Janssen, and Greenview Avenues. All have seen robust single-family sales in the last six months and beyond, but my target blocks of Wayne have had three closings over $2 million, two active listings over $2 million, and, in the last few years, several teardowns—two are fresh kills, with Barnett Capital getting ready to build new on opposite lots on the 3800 block. The single-family specialists have another project underway around the corner on Byron. On the 3700 block, a 5,600-square-foot new build by Mavrek Development is wrapping up and will soon list for $3 million.
The leading sale was a six-bed with six baths that closed in December for $3.5 million, Lake View’s priciest in 2014 and third priciest in the last three years. The block’s runner-up fetched $2.9 million. For active listings, there are five- and six-beds asking $2.85 million and $3.2 million, topped in the neighborhood only by a pair of $4 million homes on Greenview and a $4.8 million lakefront condo. Price per square foot for the block’s top sales was around $500, almost twice the Lakeview average.
If you insist on calling this Wrigleyville you can, but Wayne Avenue is one block east of bustling Southport Avenue and closely wed to this upscale, family-oriented corridor. “It’s Southport Corridor unless the Cubs are winning,” says West. “Those years you feel Wrigleyville expanding.”