It’s easy to see why Chicago’s Rogers Park was a hub for the upper crust in earlier decades. The area sports elegant vintage housing, parks and greenery, access to public transit, dozens of restaurants, proximity to some of the best beaches in the city, up-and-coming schools and Loyola University, which has a huge stake in keeping the community safe, clean and running smoothly. The affluent residents’ influence shows in the area’s architecturally significant structures with larger lots and more square footage than comparable properties in other parts of the city.
“You get much more for your money here,” says Baird & Warner broker Anne Conway (773-981-2698), who is marketing a 4,600-square-foot, eight-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home at 1052 W. Albion, located east of Sheridan Road on a 50-by-156-foot lot. She estimates it would fetch $1.2 million or more in Lakewood-Balmoral or Buena Park. But in Rogers Park, it rings in at $899,000, and it’s just steps from the beach, a block from the Red Line and positioned on the northern edge of Loyola’s campus. In fact, the entire block is the city’s only lakeside stretch of solely single-family houses, thanks to an obscure zoning regulation that prohibited multi-unit buildings. Clearly, the street was once home to some prosperous, clout-carrying Chicagoans.
Substance, style and fabulously affordable costs per square foot are the common denominators in our Rogers Park picks. Costs are about $125 per square foot at 1350 W. Greenleaf, unit 2, a 2,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom condo that’s located right by the beach and comes with two parking spaces for $350,000 (contact Coldwell Banker broker Yvonne Carns, 312-685-8668).
Chicago’s burgeoning artisanal coffee culture has finally spread to Rogers Park, thanks to the recent opening of Sol Café (left) at 1615 W. Howard, just east of the Red Line. Owner Simone Freeman is serving up the excellent locally roasted beans from Bow Truss Coffee in a warm, welcoming environment. Visit Solcafechi.com.
Story by Lisa Skolnik