Living in South Loop

Twelve percent of the Class of 2017 lives in South Loop, and so do I. If you are considering where to live in Chicago, South Loop is a neighborhood you should certainly consider.  The neighborhood is growing and changing constantly.

For more data on where Boothies live, check out Ramiro’s post.

What/where is South Loop?

South Loop is the area from Congress Avenue, in the middle of the Loop, south to Interstate 55, and bordered on the west by the Chicago River or I-90. The borders are in a bit of flux because of development.  In the featured map, it is the eastern part of the Near South – even the name is changing!

However, what you really want to know is where do 12% of your future classmates live. A completely unscientific poll of knowing where people live off the top of my head, shows that most people live between 8th Street to the north and Cullerton Street to the South- 12 blocks north to south, and mostly from Wabash East (three to four blocks from west to east). A train that takes you right to campus stops at 11th Street and 18th Street.

If I Choose South Loop What Can I expect?

You can expect more…

More neighbors: South Loop continues to be developed. While some of us live in smaller buildings (my building is seven stories), new high-rises are being built and planned all over the neighborhood.

More restaurants and businesses: According to Sloopin.com, 2015 saw 30 businesses open in South Loop. Over a third of those new establishments were restaurants. The number of places to eat has definitely grown in the past 18 months that I have lived here.

More classmates: Anecdotally, more Class of 2017 Boothies live in my building (three) than Class of 2016 (just me).

You can expect less…

Less of the “City of Neighborhoods” vibe: while South Loop is developing its own unique feel, the high-rises give it less of that Lincoln Park or Wicker Park neighborhood feel. These outlying neighborhoods have one or two main shopping/dining strips, nearby parks, and tree-lined streets. You won’t get that in South Loop, or the Loop or Streeterville for that matter. But you will get numerous parks within a walkable distance in South Loop, which is nice.

Something else to consider…

In South Loop you have the same access to public transportation as any other Boothie. Both of the Metra (commuter train to campus) stops are outside in my neighborhood — it is conveniently inside if you live at MPP (Millennium Park Plaza in the Loop). You have excellent “L” (elevated train) access at Roosevelt – and we are getting a Stan’s Donuts at the stop too! And if Uber or Lyft is your preferred transportation, you are closer to Hyde Park and will get there in around twenty-five minutes.

South Loop has been perfect for my family, as it is between Booth and where my wife Jen works. We can walk Cate to three parks within a few blocks and there are quiet streets a block east of us. If you are coming to Booth you should definitely consider South Loop. If you are from Chicago, what are your favorite neighborhoods?

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