// THE NEW FRONTIER
BUZZING WITH CHIC NEW SHOPS, GALLERIES, AND EATERIES, WEST TOWN’S WESTERN EDGE IS THE CITY’S LATEST HAVEN FOR LUXE REAL ESTATE.
Buzzing with chic new shops, galleries, and eateries, West Town’s western edge is the city’s latest haven for luxe real estate.
Luxury real estate buyers want it all—and for the past few years, West Town has delivered with its striking housing, proximity to sophisticated noshing and shopping, picturesque streets, and scenic parks. Still, growth had largely been concentrated to its eastern neighborhoods, what with their access to the highway, public transit lines, and Milwaukee Avenue.
No longer. Smith Park—a pie slice-shaped area in the southwest corner of West Town, and named for a nearly 10-acre park on its southern border—is emerging as a hot spot for luxury development. “It’s a hidden gem, and its residents want it to stay that way,” says Baird & Warner broker Sharon Gillman. “It’s one of the few places where you can still afford to buy land—even larger lots at reasonable prices. That’s why I see developers living there themselves.”
But Smith Park isn’t likely to stay a secret for long. “The 606 has made it more acceptable to go west,” notes Koenigrubloff broker Mario Greco. “Five years ago, the neighborhood had virtually nothing. But now you can walk to great restaurants on California Avenue, and the programs and facilities in the park keep getting better.”
Smith Park’s larger lots, lower congestion, and burgeoning
infrastructure are a powerful draw—they convinced the Blake Group to convert a run-down, late 19th-century two-flat at 2629 West Superior Street (now marketed by Gillman for $1.295 million) into a stunning 4,000-squarefoot, four-bed, four-bath, 21st-century home.
Gone are its timeworn features and façade, replaced by a polished brick and glass exterior, deeper foundation, full-height basement, new third floor, and high ceilings. An open, airy floor plan prevails, while a floating steel and glass staircase, which transverses all four levels, and expansive windows turn the structure into a sleek, lightfilled domicile. A gourmet kitchen and enormous thirdstory master suite with an expansive private deck increase the luxury quotient.
High-end new construction is also booming: Greco is marketing two that are sleek contemporaries: a 4,300square-foot, five-bed, threeand-a-half-bath home at 852 North Rockwell Avenue that sits on a 30-footwide corner lot with outdoor decks on every floor
($1.2995 million), and a 4,000-square-foot, five-bed, three-and-a-half-bath at 537 North Artesian Avenue that just hit the market for just north of $1 million.
Not only does Smith Park’s spot in the lexicon of chic Chicago neighborhoods seem secure, it looks like it may change the equation for its neighbor to the northwest— East Humboldt Park, long an up-and-comer but still late to reach its potential. Ironically, it’s officially part of West Town. Clearly its renaissance is just a matter of time.
Go West: Luxury hits West Town in this gorgeous home at 852 North Rockwell Street, which boasts expansive living spaces and a sleek façade.
Another showcase property on the edge of West Town, 2629 West Superior Street impresses with a sweetly outfitted living room, kitchen (ƛƞƥƨư ƫƣơơƭ), and master bedroom (ƛƞƥƨư).
The master bathroom (ƥƞɵƭ) and bedroom at 537 North Artesian Avenue, a prime example of West Town’s new luxe outlook.