If you drink craft beer, obsess over Dick Wolf’s Chicago-set shows, or regularly hit up hipster music festivals, then you’re already in sync with this nabe on the eastern end of North Lawndale, home to Lagunitas Brewing Company, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, and Riot Fest. They’re all signs the neighborhood is on the upswing, says developer Mike Murdock: “I’d buy stuff there in a heartbeat.”
There’s a lot to love: good old housing stock (you can buy a 10-bedroom graystone fixer-upper for less than $90,000), the gorgeous eponymous park, and easy access to downtown on the Pink Line. Developers are betting on the area, too. The daintily named Eco Square, which includes 80 green-built houses, started to sprout over the past two years at Roosevelt and Campbell, with prices that start around $439,000. Not everything is TV shows and roses, however.
“It’s a constant battle with 311 to have some basic services ramped up a little bit,” admits Mark, a 10-year resident. “There’s a lot of garbage on the street and some shady folks around.” That's for sure: The larger North Lawndale community area is the edgiest of any in this story, with 79.9 violent crimes per 1,000 residents last year. It’s up to you to decide if high crime is worth the tradeoff for the big house you can get for your money.