Sunday, July 09, 2006

News Flash... South Loop has a ton of Construction

I think I'm developing a reputation with my readers as the king of the understatement. Yes, the South Loop neighborhood has ALOT of construction. Don't take my word for it... just read the Chicago Tribune's expose on the South Loop from this Sunday's real estate section.

Stats of note:
"The South Loop outperformed other parts of downtown in 2005 new-construction residential sales and has increased its share of the downtown condo market to 44 percent, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago firm that tracks residential sales."Huge activity is going on in the South Loop. It's the most active part of the city," said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research. "The South Loop has had dramatic growth. In 2000, the area had 7,700 housing units. By the end of this year, it will have 13,600, almost double."

"Lissner said of the 6,200 units in the South Loop on the market now, two-thirds have been sold. "In the next couple of years, 6,100 more units are proposed."

My eye has been on the South Lopp for a few clients in the past year... from the under $300K with a parking spot for one and up to $400K for another.

It's seriously hard to believe how many high rise units that are proposed, under construction and completed (and the number of units already for sale). That is, until you think about the proximity to the central business and financial districts. And, that centralization can sprawl along the lakefront too I suppose. So far, it has been mainly residential development that has dominated the landscape, as pointed out in the Tribune article. Retail has had a tough time due to the density of people and their cars. It seems even though people are buying in the South Loop, they are taking their cars with them.

But that's boutique retail that has been slow to develop and thrive... it took awhile, but their is a ton of major retail stores that will now anchor the Roosevelt and Canal area. This should be plenty of stores and more for the new wave of South Loopers and welcome to the old wave. It's far enough off the lakefront as to not disturb the cityscape, but close enough to walk to (bring your folding cart and a backpack for your stuff on the way back).

Let's face it... the only thing that has slowed this gold mine by the lake front (and museums) is clean up of old industrial warehouses and displacement of the "have nots". Nothing exclusive to the South Loop, and every desirable location of the city seems to eventually have its day of gentrification vs. displacement and affordibility. I mean, look at Uptown... its still a 50/50 proposition there. Near the lake and transportation... some beautiful enclaves. But crime, elements of poverty and social ills still lace the landscape.

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