Remember that scene in High Fidelity when John Cusack is walking through Wicker Park in the rain, and nearly every storefront is vacant? Well, the northwest side neighborhood is starting to look that way again — only this time, the empty windows are the product of rising rents that have chased independent shop owners away.
It's true: Wicker Park has gentrified, just like Lake View and Lincoln Park before it. Homebuyers looking in the area will find all sorts of pricey new construction, not to mention grand Victorians lovingly maintained over the years.
But the neighborhood is best known for its respectable inventory of posh lofts, many of them loaded with amenities like rooftop decks and swanky master suites.
If you’re looking to buy in Wicker Park, prepare to open your wallet. Recent Redfin numbers indicate that the median list price for the area is $675,000, with a median sale price of $573,000 — more than double the Chicago median of $264,000.
If that's a hit you can take, though, here are four spacious units to consider.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find this combination of space and amenities at a lower price in Wicker Park. Specifically, that would be two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms spanning 1,100 square feet with a balcony and private roof deck — for less than half a million.
If you've got a flair for vintage buildings, consider this unit on Division, complete with exposed high ceilings and raw timber beams. Also in every room: exposed brick walls and large windows. The cherry on top is access to a large portion of the building’s rooftop, which offers sweeping views.
The all-white-everything loft is on trend at the moment, and the wood-burning stove and glass block windows in this one add a dash of industrial charm. Also noteworthy: some sharp custom finishes, especially on the staircase, and a private roof deck.
Buyers who want it all — and are willing to pay — will find what they're looking for in this spacious Division Street three-bedroom. New to the market, the swanky pad boasts private elevator access, a huge private rooftop deck, and a gated parking space included in the asking price.