Wrigleyville/Lakeview Neighborhood Guide
By Kevin Ortiz
The Wrigleyville/Lakeview area is one of Chicago's hotspots for just about anything you can think of which makes it one of the best areas in the city to buy and sell property. Wrigleyville, which is found inside of the larger Lakeview neighborhood, is bordered by Southport Ave, Halsted St, Roscoe St and Byron St. Dubbed Wrigleyville after the Chicago Cubs' prestigious home field, it is a popular spot to spend the day catching a Cubs game or taking a dip in the lake. With plenty to do it's no secret why this area is one of the best the city has to offer.
The Lakeview/Wrigleyville area wasn't always the hip sports mecca young people flock to nowadays. In the early 1800s, it was mostly farmland for early settlers who produced mainly celery if you can believe that. Due to increasing settlement and a rise in visitors in 1857, the area became known as the Lakeview Township. In fact, it wasn't until 1889 that the area even became part of Chicago through annexation. Once Lakeview became part of Chicago, the area really began to flourish into the place we know now.
The Lakeview/Wrigleyville area is a laid back neighborhood that understands in order to work hard one has to play hard. Barring any Cubs games, the neighborhood is typically quiet during the day. By night, the place transforms into a giant bar crawl with all sorts of characters coming out of the woodwork. The neighborhood residents are mostly young adults and couples; however, there are many families and some older residents in the neighborhood as well. The neighborhood wasn't always this way; it has seen many changes over time. It was mostly populated by German and Irish immigrants and eventually shifted to a heavier Latino population before it became the Lakeview of the present.
If you are close to Clark or Halsted during the weekends they can be pretty happening, so if you are in the market for somewhere quaint and calm this may not be where you want to live. Otherwise, the western portion of the neighborhood is predominantly lower in density, with many more 2-flats and single-family properties as Southport continues to transform into a well-recognized shopping area.
Nearly every Chicago neighborhood has its fair share of schools. Some are exceptional and others unfortunately are not. The Lakeview/Wrigleyville area features several schools ranging from elementary all the way to high schools. For more information on the schools in the area visit Trulia's list here and the Chicago Public School website here.
Lakeview High School – 4015 N. Ashland
Grade levels: 9-12
CPS performance rating: Level 2
Inter-American Magnet School – 851 W. Waveland
Grade levels: PK-8
Greeley – 832 W. Sheridan
Grade Levels: K-8
CPS performance rating: Level 1
Chicago is blessed with a great public transit system that is headlined by the CTA and the El Trains. Unfortunately, the city is also cursed with plenty of traffic and simply not enough free parking. This holds especially true in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Parking is hard to come by because of the area's popularity. Despite some areas being permit only, most residents will still have a hard time finding a parking spot. Fret not however; while the parking isn't great it's definitely not the worst area in the city. The train and CTA are also reliable forms of transportation. Wrigleyville takes advantage of the Addison, Sheridan and Belmont Red line stops. The Purple and Brown line are also accessible from Belmont as well making the rest of the city easier to get around. Chicago is also an increasingly bike-friendly city making commuting by bike a very viable option. Getting around the relatively small Lakeview/Wrigleville area is pretty easy and extremely walkable in the summer.
With so many things to do in the neighborhood here is a list of some of the amenities one can expect to find while in the Lakeview/Wrigleyville area:
Wrigley Field: This ivy-covered historical landmark is one of Chicago's most popular attractions. Catching a game at the second oldest ballpark in the majors is a great way to experience the neighborhood and enjoy the day.
The Lake: If you are looking for a cost-effective way to get out of the house, Lake Michigan is a great and free way to spend the day. The Lakefront is one of the main attractions of the Lakeview neighborhood and the reason for its name. Virtually the entire lakefront and much of the city is accessible via the pedestrian/bike path that wraps around the water and features breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline. There are a few scattered parks in the area but they all pale in comparison to what the lakefront has to offer.
Restaurants: With plenty of places to eat in the neighborhood, you'll run out of money before you run out of new places to try.
Bars: Wrigleyville is famous for its nightlife scene, which means there are tons of bars.
Stores: While the area isn't the strongest shopping district the city has to offer, there are plenty of shops to take advantage of.
Part of the Lakeview neighborhood includes Boystown. This area spans a fair portion of Halsted and as the name suggests it is one of the largest LGBT neighborhoods in the country. Each summer the Boystown neighborhood plays host to one of the largest pride festivals in the country. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars exclusive to this area as well.
Facts & Stats:
The Lakeview neighborhood was originally the camp and trail paths for the Miami, Ottawa and Winnebago Native American tribes. It wasn't until 1837 that the first European settlers decided to make the area their new home. During the Civil War the Broadway, Clark and Diversey intersections were home to Camp Fry, which was eventually turned into a war prison.
Unfortunately, Chicago is known for its high crime rates, which is nothing to be proud of. However the Lakeview/Wrigleyville area is relatively safe most of the time. One tool prospective homebuyers find most useful is the Chicago Police Department’s crime tracker that is searchable by ¼ miles and provides a detailed breakdown of recent criminal infractions.
Entertainment & Nightlife:
The Lakeview and Wrigleyville neighborhoods are have bars to spare. The most famous is the section of Clark street near Wrigley Field. During game days this place looks more like a college homecoming than a normal weekend. It's just as popular during the Cubs off-season although certainly not as festive. A great non-baseball day to come and see how Chicago really gets down is during St. Patrick's Day.
Nearly all of Clark St is lined with bar but some of the best to visit are:
Irish Oak - 3511 N. Clark
Rebel – 3462 N. Clark
John Barleycorn – 3524 N. Clark
Cubby Bear – 1059 W. Addison
Sluggers – 3540 N. Clark
The Lakeview Neighborhood also has plenty of local venues to catch live music and other entertainment shows. Consider the Metro, Vic Theatre, and Riviera Theatre among others all great places to catch some good entertainment.
Bike the Drive - May
Pride Parade - June
Various festivals - Mostly Summer
Ribfest - Summer
Bank of America Chicago Marathon - October
One of the Lakeview/Wrigleyville area's greatest fortes is its extensive dining options. There is a food for every mood and craving, plus plenty of late night spots to appease the drunken munchies. Not to mention plenty of family style restaurants. The entire neighborhood is brimming with places to eat, but Broadway and Southport are literally lined with restaurants and shops. From specialty tea stores to knock-your-socks-off pizza you can find it all in the neighborhood.
1017 W. Irving Park Rd.
This little hole-in-the-wall is the quintessential hot dog joint. You won't find any fancy specialty dogs here because Byron's doesn't try to be more than it is – it's simply delicious food fast at a solid price point. Their signature dish, of course, is the Chicago Style hot dog but there are little ways to go wrong with the food options at Byron's. Don't forget to wash down all of that greasy goodness with an ice-cold green river; just don't ask for ketchup on the dog.
1351 W. Addison
Chicago is nationally acclaimed for its deep dish pizza but this place made its way onto this list for the exact opposite - thin crust pizza. To put it simply, this stuff is straight up addicting and rivals any pizza in the city. Its crust is cracker-thin, crispy and crunchy mixed with all sorts of heavenly ingredients.
3908 N. Sheridan Rd.
This little Italian nook is a great place to get an authentic taste of Italy. Whether it's the pizza or the pasta, you'll be hard pressed to leave hungry and unsatisfied.
3763 N. Southport Ave.
This BYOB Argentinian steakhouse is a definite date night spot. Powered by a candlelight ambiance and designed with an old world feel, Tango Sur is the perfect romantic dinner destination. It's also ideal if you love great steak.
3455 N. Southport Ave.
With lines usually out the door, it's no secret why Crosby's Kitchen was featured on Chicago's Best. Crosby's Kitchen is a family friendly foodie paradise without any of the pretentiousness. Everything on the menu is made from scratch and the place has a pretty serious wine selection as well. Crosby's Kitchen also has a dedicated room for stroller parking.
There are plenty of local boutiques and shops in the neighborhood but it isn't a shoppers paradise. In the Wrigleyville area the stores are mostly sports themed. But as one ventures farther away from the stadium the stores become more diverse.
Buying a home in the Wrigleyville neighborhood is certainly going to be more expensive than other lesser-known neighborhoods in the city but it still won't run you as much as somewhere downtown and you can still have nearly all the amenities. Many of the available properties consist mostly of apartments and condos, which reflects the type of residents in the neighborhood. Single homes are also available due to conversion of 2-flats to single family homes and new construction of high-end homes where older properties were demolished. The market snapshots as of late July is as follows:
According to Redfin.com
Median List Price: $305,000
Median Sale Price: $370,000
Average number of offers: 1.7
According to Zillow.com
Median Home Value: $403,700
Median Home listing price: $435,000
Median Sale Price: $375,000
According to @properties.com (Wrigleyville)
Average Sales Price: $460,986
Average Days on Market: 67
Number of Properties on Market: 1,093
Sales Price vs. List Price: 97%
According to Trulia.com (Lakeview)
Average Listing Price: $445,595
Median Sales Price: $400,000