Currently Available Units
- 824 West. Superior #508
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- 821 West. Superior #2
- 725 North. Aberdeen #402
- 950 West. Erie #604
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Recently Sold Units
- 824 West. Superior #407
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- 939 West. Huron #209
- 407 North. Elizabeth #105a
- 824 West. Superior #508
- 809 North. Racine #201
- 525 North. Halsted #313
- 949 North. Willard #504
- 949 North. Willard #201
- 525 North. Halsted #403
- 949 North. Willard #401
- 809 North. Racine #202
- 949 North. Willard #305
- 949 North. Willard #205
- 939 West. Huron #404
- 949 North. Willard #502
- 525 North. Halsted #312
- 525 North. Halsted #304
Welcome To River West
River West is a relatively new Chicago neighborhood. Once considered part of River North, it is now a viable, thriving community of its own. In recent years the construction of mid-rise condominiums in River West has attracted residents who desire a little more peace and quiet, without moving too far from downtown. In the style of transforming an old warehouse district into a viable residential neighborhood, River West is full of converted loft spaces and condos, which happen to be prime real estate on Chicago's housing market. Trendy designs and upgraded amenities have become the norm for this hip, new community in the heart of the near north side. Fashionable restaurants and nightspots have also materialized, but local residents aren't the only ones frequenting these ultra cool hangouts. River West dining and nightlife is known to attract Chicagoans from outside the neighborhood, which means it is best to make reservations whenever possible!
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River West Home Sales Statistics
River West Facts
Location: One mile northwest of the Loop
Boundaries: The Chicago River North Branch to the east, Grand Avenue to the south, the Kennedy Expressway to the west and the Industrial Corridor to the north
Bordering Neighborhoods: River North, West Loop, Fulton River District, Noble Square, Near North
Crime Statistics: Go to CLEARMap to search specific streets and areas for crime incidents
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Then and Now
Like its neighbor to the immediate south, the Fulton River District, River West, a neighborhood that was once recognized for little more than meatpacking houses and distribution centers, has experienced a cultural revitalization in recent years. River West has long been known to Chicago residents as a market district; the place you might go to stock up on wholesale goods. The neighborhood has always been a major artery in the west side of Chicago's manufacturing corridor -- and it still is -- but in recent years the neighborhood has radically transformed.
Though warehouses still stand in much of River West, and there is still plenty of truck traffic shipping goods in and out along Halsted Street and Grand Avenue, the area has become increasingly residential. The recent influx of wealthy residents came on the coattails of two major developments in River West: the backdrop of a burgeoning arts scene and an increasingly reputable setting for nightlife and restaurants. As the winds of gentrification generally blow, artists first moved in to capitalize on cheap rents, which started the gradual transformation from a meatpacking and manufacturing district to one that attracts flocks of art enthusiasts and foodies on the weekends.
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The majority of housing options in River West are mid- and high-rise condos, converted lofts, new-construction townhomes and three-flats. Old warehouses are being converted into trendy new lofts, and condominium developments are also going up in the neighborhood. Reminiscent of its industrial days, the River West community is definitely part of the concrete and steel jungle of city living, but the contemporary designs and modernity of the freshly rehabbed buildings provide a clean and innovative environment that is appealing to Chicagoans of all walks of life.
Price-wise, a one- or two-bedroom condo/loft starts in the mid $100,000s, whereas a three-bedroom can cost anywhere between the upper $200,000s to upwards of two million dollars. There are some townhomes available in River West, but the supply is much more limited. The average sales price for a three-bedroom townhouse is $423,000. With constant construction and refurbishing of older buildings, the residential real estate in River West is in good supply. So, whatever your price range, take some time to look around, and check out the options -- chances are you'll find that perfect dream home with no trouble at all.
What's on the Menu?
In addition to the growing reputation of area art galleries, River West's dining scene has also taken off in a big way.
The spot that's probably most representative of the neighborhood's "arrival" is Avenue M (695 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-243-1133), a seamless cross between a lounge and a steakhouse. Patrons can enjoy an exquisitely prepared meal or just sip on specialty martinis at the bar. The sleek, floor-to-ceiling drapes and intimate booth seating provide an elegant, relaxing spot to celebrate a special occasion, or just eat out with family and friends. The Kobe beef burger is always a hit, but there's also an excellent filet mignon or the more basic Kansas City steak. And with booths as cozy as the ones at Avenue M, you could easily park it here for the whole night.
Just down the street, at the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Halsted Street, Chef John Bubala whips up mouthwatering rotisserie-roasted meats and uniquely seasoned seafood at his Italian-inspired hotspot, Timo (464 N Halsted St, 312-226-4300). In the spring of 2006, Chef Bubala returned from a tasting tour of Italy and decided to overhaul the menu at his former restaurant, Thyme ("timo" means thyme in Italian), and the result is this River West standout. Longtime regulars and fans of Bubala have been thrilled with the rotisserie chickens and new authentic Italian fare. Look out for the bargain $35-prix-fixe menu, which is a complete steal. Less than a block down Milwaukee is another Italian favorite, one that we're sure to return to at least once-a-month: La Scarola (721 W Grand Ave, 312-243-1740). Not to be taken in by the white tablecloths, La Scarola is a casual affair that thousands of Chicagoans call their favorite spot. Though it seems hidden, with little more to announce its existence than a rusty sign on a quiet stretch of Grand Avenue, people have discovered this restaurant and keep it packed every night of the week. La Scarola is in a class of Italian restaurants that originate back from the 1940s, maintaining the same furnishings and reminding us of a scene out of a mob movie. The portions are bigger than anyone should be allowed to eat in one sitting, but that never holds us back. Because of its increasing popularity in recent years, be sure to make dinner reservations.
In terms of cafe culture, the Iguana Cafe (517 N Halsted St, 312-432-0663) is a European-influenced eatery that serves coffee, wine and a reasonably priced selection of Mediterranean-style dishes. It's one of the only cafes that's open as late as most bars, so it's a good spot to turn to if you've got to get some late-night studying done. They also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and even have a full bar, so whatever your needs are, chances are Iguana's got a fix.
Taking the prize for the most unconventional dining room in River West goes to the Silver Palm (768 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-666-9322). This Near North Side neighborhood fixture is an old Union Pacific rail car from the 1940s that's been converted into an intimate dining room. There are only about ten tables in the small space and not much room to move about, but that's half the fun. The food is good contemporary American cuisine, albeit rather pricey, but good nonetheless.
Situated across the river from a well-established art center in River North, River West has its own flourishing gallery district along Milwaukee Avenue. Most of these spaces are run by not-for-profit and educational organizations. Woman Made Gallery (685 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-738-0400) supports women's contributions to the arts, hosting group exhibitions, solo shows, and a holiday bazaar. Woman Made was opened in the early '90s to raise awareness for female artists who often go overlooked in the wider American art scene. The nearby ARC Gallery (734 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-733-2787) is run by women as well, but men are also invited to show their work in the gallery space. Since its opening in the 1970s, ARC has been fundamental to Chicago's growing artist community, providing budding artists with exhibition and scholarship opportunities.
The Center for Intuitive & Outsider Art (756 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-243-9088) is a unique foundation that promotes awareness, acceptance and understanding of alternative types of artwork. The center, called Intuit for short, introduces the general public to an array of unconventional creative expressions that "demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world" such as art brut, self-taught and visionary art forms. As one of the fastest-growing and most popular art forms in Chicago, outsider art is a phenomenon, and as such, the Intuit gallery hosts openings and shows that have drawn some pretty big crowds in recent years. What exactly it means to qualify as an "outsider artist" is unclear, but the art shown at Intuit generally includes a wide range of folk art and quirky art objects that are made by professionally untrained artists.
Educational galleries are just a part of River West's active artist community. For decades, scholars of the arts have come to the area to participate in programs at both the Chicago Academy for the Arts (1010 W Chicago Ave, 312-421-0202) and the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts (777 N Green St, 312-733-6000). The academy is a college prep school offering a wide range of elective art courses, while the Center gives students of all ages, skill levels and talents a chance to participate in workshops in theater, music, dance and more.
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Night on the Town
Like its culinary culture, the nightlife in River North neighborhood is on the rise. Characterized by hip new wine bars, lounges and clubs, we are happy to sample these popular hotspots and report back with the low down.
Got a little bit of an oenophile in you? Or maybe you just want to impress your date. Fine, either will do at the Juicy Wine Company (694 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-492-6620), a dream-come-true for amateurs and aficionados alike. Because even if you don't know a thing about wine and cheese (they've got an overwhelming selection of that, too), the servers at Juicy Wine do, and they'll be more than willing to educate and accommodate you. Though the place is small, it contains anything you might desire. Both wine and cheese are served in flights, and there's even a gourmet butter flight for the butterball in all of us.
Like the decor, the music and the crowds at the Funky Buddha Lounge (728 W Grand Ave, 312-666-1695) are all over the map, making it one of the most amorphous and diverse nightclubs in Chicago. In the early hours, the place has a very laid-back feel to it, but come midnight everybody's on the dance floor. With DJs changing every couple of hours, if you stay at the Funky Buddha all night you might expect to catch a set of Hip Hop, international house music, or even jazz in the same evening. Next door to the Funky Buddha is the Butterfly Social Club (722 W Grand Ave, 312-666-1695), which is owned by the same owner as the Funky Buddha Lounge, Mark Klemen. The Butterfly Social Club was founded on organic principles, and both the drink menu and the vibe of the place live up to those ideals. Most of the alcoholic beverages, as well as the many juices, are certified organic and, we think, tastier for that reason. Not only will your conscience be clean as you leave at the end of the night, but your clothes and hair will be, too, because both clubs are smoke-free.
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With an entrance to Interstate I-90/94 (Kennedy Expressway) off Ogden Avenue, it is easy to commute from River West to anywhere else in the city. Locally, though, Milwaukee Avenue, Grand Avenue, and Halsted Street will get you just about anywhere you need to be. But keep in mind that these are major thoroughfares and that during morning and evening rush hours they tend to slow to a crawl.
Only minutes from the Loop, the CTA Blue Line is a straight shot downtown with stops in River West at the six-corner intersections of Chicago/Milwaukee/Ogden and Grand/Milwaukee/Halsted. Taking the Blue Line down to the Chicago Loop will connect you to every other CTA train line, but taking it the opposite direction will get you to O'Hare International Airport and all points in between. It's a long ride though, so calculate close to an hour to get from River West to O'Hare.
A few bus routes also run through the area -- namely the #8 Halsted street bus and the #56 Milwaukee Avenue bus. And, of course, there are always taxis milling about the main streets waiting to take you anywhere you need to go (the intersection of Grand/Milwaukee/Halsted is probably the best place to catch a cab in the River West neighborhood).
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School's in Session
There aren't any schools for the younguns' in River West, but art scholars will like the fact that one of the city's art academies in right here in the neighborhood. For information on nearby educational facilities for students of all ages and spheres of interests, check out our Chicago Guide Schools page.
We've compiled a sampling of some of the places you can get your bare necessities in River West, from transport to Tic-Tacs, paintings to pizza.
Chicago Transit Authority (888) 968-7282
PharmaciesOsco Drug 771 N Ogden Ave - (312) 243-5590
Chicago Center for Performing Arts 777 N Green St - (312) 733-6000
Chicago Dramatists Theatre 1105 W Chicago Ave - (312) 633-0630
Chicago Fine Arts Exchange 815 W Chicago Ave - (312) 850-2787
Chicago Tribune Freedom Center 777 W Chicago Ave - (312) 222-2116
(Free tours of the Chicago Tribune's printing operations on weekdays)
ComedySportz 777 N Green St - (773) 549-8080
Black Market Chicago Inc 1105 W Chicago Ave - (312) 421-9690
Doolin Amusement Supply Co 511 N Halsted St - (312) 243-9424
Juicy Wine Company 694 N Milwaukee Ave - (312) 492-6620
Proline Golf 925 W Chicago Ave - (312) 738-2427
Salvation Army 509 N Union Ave - (312) 738-4360
The Silver Palm 768 N Milwaukee Ave - (312) 666-9322
Sushi X 1136 W Chicago Ave - (312) 491-9232
Iguana Cafe 517 N Halsted St - (312) 432-0663
Love's Cafe 770 N Halsted St - (312) 572-4444
Muse Cafe 817 N Milwaukee Ave - (312) 850-2233
Windy City Cafe 1062 W Chicago Ave - (312) 492-8010
Subway Sandwiches 780 N Milwaukee Ave - (312) 492-7827
Byron's Hot Dogs 680 N Halsted St - (312) 738-0968
Spice 833 W Chicago Ave - (312) 997-1900
Joe Marchetti's 825 W Erie St - (312) 421-0022
La Scarola Italian Restaurant 721 W Grand Ave - (312) 432-0663
Timo 464 N Halsted St - (312) 226-4300
D'Agostino's Pizza & Pub 752 N Ogden Ave - (312) 850-3247
Pie-Eyed Pizzeria 1111 W Chicago Ave - (312) 243-3735
Avenue M 695 N Milwaukee Ave - (312) 243-1133
Butterfly Social Club 722 W Grand Ave - (312) 666-1695
De Lux 669 N Chicago Ave - (312) 850-4008
Funky Buddha Lounge 728 W Grand Ave - (312) 666-1695
The Matchbox 770 N Milwaukee Ave - (312) 666-9292
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Sometimes it makes more sense to view the city of Chicago as a bunch of separate neighborhoods -- especially when it comes to real estate. Whether you are in the market for a loft, condo, townhome, or house, it is just as important to inspect the surrounding area as it is to inspect the home's foundation. River West neighborhood is just one Chicago community with an abundance of residential properties, and a life all its own. From where you send your kids to school to where you dine at night, the information we provide is an essential piece of the puzzle when you're trying to decide whether or not to buy that beautiful loft or adorable house in River West.
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