Anyone who’s waited for a table at Au Cheval is well aware of the West Loop boom. That tidal wave is spreading farther west to the area between Ashland and Western, south of Lake. You can thank the Bulls and Blackhawks: In 2014, the Bulls opened a new training facility across the street from the United Center. Last year, the Hawks announced plans to build a training facility two blocks south of the arena, providing a new destination for fans and young athletes who will practice and take classes there.
The broader Near West Side community area had a violent crime rate of 34.7 crimes per 1,000 residents last year, although the biggest complaints from West Haven residents are about trash and dog poop. You still have to be willing to put up with rougher surroundings. Think few neighbors, limited green space, and, beyond the nabe’s borders, considerable gang activity. Look on the west side near Western Avenue, where you’ll find plenty of solid brick houses with good bones, says developer Mike Murdock. (A renovated six-bedroom two-flat will set you back $588,000.)