The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Wicker Park Baby Boom: Day Care, Pediatric Office Cater to Growing Trend

By Alisa Hauser | July 15, 2013 12:04pm | Updated on July 15, 2013 12:08pm
 With close to 18 percent of residents in Wicker Park and Bucktown being ages 0-14 years old, a number of child care centers have announced openings in recent weeks, along with a new pediatrician's office.
Baby Boom Businesses in Wicker Park, Bucktown
View Full Caption

BUCKTOWN — Sidewalk stroller jams may be happening more often if the babies keep coming to Bucktown and Wicker Park, where another child care center and a pediatrician's office are among the latest crop of new businesses.

Willow Tree Child Care, 1800 N. Western Ave., just north of the Bloomingdale Trail/The 606 overpass at Western Avenue and Bloomingdale Street plans to open by the fall. So, too, does Presence Medical Group at 1658 N. Milwaukee Ave.,  just north of Milwaukee, Damen, North avenues.

Presence Health spokeswoman Kristy Lockhart said the area was selected because the neighborhood is made up of "many young professionals and young families."

Lockhart said the latest demographics for 60622 and 60647 —  two of the main ZIP codes for Wicker Park and Bucktown — show that close to one-fifth of the population is under age 14.

Lockhart said that 25 percent of the area is ages 25 to 34; thirty percent is ages 35 to 54, and 14 percent is age 55 or older.

Lockhart said the younger population is expected to grow because there is "a large proportion of females of child-bearing age" — some 60,000 females ages 15 to 44 living in the two neighborhoods.

Suzy Ryu, owner of Willow Tree Child Care and Developmental Center, said her center plans to open in September, while Dr. Erin Malone said her medical practice specializing in internal medicine and pediatrics is scheduled to open Aug. 19.

"There is not much in terms of primary care [for children] in the area," said Malone.

The Bucktown resident is a graduate of Rush University Medical Center, where she completed a four-year combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics. 

Ryu, who has worked at two child care centers in the northern suburbs for the last 10 years, said she chose Bucktown because there are "a lot of young families here."

Ryu said Willow Tree will be "a very family-orientated place where parents as well as children can feel comfortable."

Willow Tree will be located in a 4,000-square-foot space most recently home to two fitness centers. The light-filled storefront beneath a four-story condo building can accommodate 44 children in three classrooms, Ryu said. 

Willow Tree's classrooms will be divided to accommodate children ages 15 to 24 months, 2 to 3 years old, and 3 to 5 years old.

Ryu said she's in the process of hiring teachers who have early childhood enrichment experience. She said she plans to offer instruction in art and yoga.

"We want to open as soon a possible, but we also want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape, too," Ryu said.

Presence Medical Group, affiliated with St. Mary's Hospital at 2233 W. Division St., is coming to a strip mall between a 7-Eleven and a UPS store.

Malone said the medical practice will offer such primary care services as physicals for adults and children and will accept most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare.

While there do not appear to be many pediatricians with practices in the neighborhood, there are plenty of child care centers.

Willow Tree will join newcomers The Gardner School at 1612 W. North Ave. in Bucktown and the Jewish Leadership Council's family center at 2129 W. North Ave. in Wicker Park.

Existing child care centers include The Children's Learning Place, 1669-81 N. Milwaukee Ave., which opened in October 2009; ABC Daycare and Preschool, 1634 W North Ave., and New Einsteins Academy, 1858 N. Damen, which both opened in 2012; and Purple Monkey Playroom, 2040 N. Western Ave, according to Daily Candy.  

Willow Tree Child Care and Developmental Center, 1800 N. Western Ave. Ph: 773-360-7816.

Presence Medical Group, Dr. Erin Malone, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics Medicine, 1658 N. Western Ave. Ph: 773-278-7889.  The office plans to have an open house 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  July 24.