As one of Chicago’s oldest residential neighborhoods, the South Loop has been reborn. Its prime location hosts many high-rise luxury units for sale and rent. Several of Chicago’s major attractions reside here, including McCormick Place and Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. The South Loop is bound in the north by Congress Pkwy, the east by Grant Park, and in the southwest by Chinatown. South Loop encompasses Museum Campus, the beautiful Northerly Island, Dearborn Park and Printer’s Row. The CTA’s Orange, Red, and Green Lines serve the area.
Residents of the South Loop pay a premium rent for their places. Median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,800 but one can expect to pay well north of $2,000 for a luxury apartment and over $3,000 for a great two-bedroom rental. A majority of apartments and condos in the area are in complexes of 50 units or more.
The South Loop was one of Chicago’s first residential areas, and was lucky to be spared in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Due to its close proximity to the Loop, the area took in many of the displaced businesses and would become a business district and rail yard until the decline of passenger trains. Nearly a century later, in the vicinity of Dearborn station, 51 acres of vacant rail yard was converted into Dearborn Park. This catalyzed the development of apartments along the park, as well as the conversion of warehouses into lofts, thus attracting many middle-class residents to the area.
The South Loop is known for its great amenities; there are parks and museums galore. The Museum Campus is a popular draw for tourists and for good reason. The Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Field Museum are all excellently curated and attract a cultured demographic to the area. Expect to encounter some crowds here, as year round events draw thousands of people and the accompanying traffic. Violent crime is low in this area, but property crimes like theft is common as can be expected in tourist areas.
The South Loop’s many charms draw in an affluent population of about 33,381 with a median household income of $68,944. Average household size is 1.8, reflecting the high population of students and singles. People tend to rent their homes here more often than owning. More than 30% of households are families, of which almost half have children under 18. Over 80% of these families send their K-12 children to private schools.
The South Loop was formerly a “vice” area, known for its many brothels, bars, and burlesque theatres.
The Chicago Auto Show is the nation’s largest and hosted every February at the South Loop’s McCormick Place. For a unique date night, check out the Adler Planetarium’s ‘After Dark’ offering every third Thursday of the month for an adults only museum experience with monthly themes.