LOGAN SQUARE — Described as the "Midwest headquarters of hip," Logan Square has been named one of the 15 "hottest urban retail markets across North America."
The ranking by the national commercial real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield was compiled by querying hundreds of its experts across the country, including brokers, property managers, appraisers and marketing executives.
Wicker Park and Bucktown, meanwhile, are "still cool while going mainstream."
The Fulton River District — defined as the area between Lake Street on the South and Ohio Street on the North, Kennedy Expy. to the West and Chicago River to the East — is "up and coming" and "the next big thing," according to the report, "Cool Streets of North America."
Some of the criteria for "cool" are walkability, bicycle friendliness and ease of public transportation as well as availability of places to eat and hear music.
Logan Square's coolness began two decades ago as artists flocked to the area from Wicker Park, where rents became too expensive, the report says. The launch of the Logan Square Farmers Market in 2007 "was a major touchstone," but growth since 2010 has been driven by new restaurants and bars, according to the report.
The authors acknowledge that Logan Square's hipness allure has the arts community nervous.
The report puts the average household income at $84,529, with 60 percent of its adult residents being college-educated. One in three residents are between the ages of 20 and 34, and 58 percent are renters.
Meanwhile, Wicker Park scores high marks for walkability and nightlife, though low on access to higher education and vintage/thrift stores. The average household income is $102,698 with 73 percent being college educated and nearly four in 10 between 20 and 34 years old. Some 57 percent are renters.
Bucktown's average household income is $109,494, with 77 percent of residents being college-educated and about 43 percent of them being between the ages of 20 and 34. Renters are 58 percent of the population.
The authors say that overall, when it comes to American cities, "the pattern of urban renewal has not changed much over the last 50 years: A neighborhood endures a pattern of neglect, rising crime, and social ills drive home values down."
Then "cheap real estate eventually lures new residents, and then rebounds as additional waves of residents and new businesses."
What's different now, the authors say is "the sheer speed with which a neighborhood can reinvent itself."
Or lose its hipness.
However, there is evidence that young people may not be finding city neighborhoods as attractive as they once did. Faced with rising rents and skyrocketing home prices "affordability is the likely culprit of this decline," they say.
To see the complete report, click here.
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