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A LITTLE ABOUT THE WEST LOOP

A display of rapid growth set this Chicago neighborhood apart from others. With a diverse transformation, this community made a 180 degree turn and made this neighborhood happen seemingly overnight. While still holding onto remnants of its factories and warehouses, The West Loop now boasts an extraordinary amount of new restaurants and nightlife. Ranging from Mexican to Sushi bars, everything is covered on the food spectrum here. Deemed “Restaurant Row” you can find these eateries located on Randolph Street and Fulton Market, anything and everything, from to diners, to lounges, to even breweries these few blocks are a go to for any food aficionado. Even hosting the years only year round indoor marketplace at the Chicago French Market. Fine arts are a culture around this area, with various showrooms displaying folk, art, contemporary paintings, to sculptures. The showrooms will be sure to give you your fix of art anytime you visit. With options ranging from luxury condos to lofts, to single family homes, the residences in The West Loop will be sure to capture your eye. 

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WEST LOOP HISTORY

What started out in the late 1800s as part of Chicago’s warehouse district has recently become one of the trendiest neighborhoods for young families and working thirty-somethings in the city. Even though its roots dig more than a century back, in terms of the residential market here, the West Loop is a relative newbie.In the 1800s, immigrants of mixed backgrounds, many from Eastern Europe and Russia came looking for work and began settling in the region. Still, the West Loop remained a relatively industrial place. It wasn’t until Greektown was founded later in the century that commercial sites and eventually residential housing started to go up in the vicinity jumpstarting the West Loop’s history.In the 1920s, flappers ruled the dance floor, Prohibition prompted the Dry Law, and a wave of immigration brought in a diverse lot of people—some of whom came to work in the factories and ended up staying in the neighborhood to live, resulting in even more expansion. Forty years later, when the University of Illinois expanded to open its Chicago campus (just south of the West Loop), the need for housing increased dramatically, and new developments became the answer, spurring a trend towards converting existing warehouses into cool lofts and condominiums.Today the area is best described as “industrial chic” and a fast-developing neighborhood where dockworkers can grab a cup of coffee on the same corner that the Queen of Talk herself Oprah Winfrey call used to call home.

Freight trucks mingle with BMWs along the neighborhood’s border roads of Ashland Avenue and Halsted Street, while parents pushing baby strollers strut alongside dog walkers and joggers. We think this section of town has a fine balance between urban renovation and historic preservation, especially since the local charm has remained intact: Many wholesale warehouses have been given new life as art galleries, while local policy-makers have managed to preserve long-time industries still important to Chicago’s livelihood.

WEST LOOP FACTS

Location: directly west of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: The Loop, Fulton River District, River West, University Village/Little Italy, Noble Square
Boundaries: Grand Avenue to the north, I-90/94 (Kennedy Expressway) to the east, I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway) to the south and Ashland Avenue to the west
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents
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