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University Village
Real Estate and Neighborhood Information

University Village Overview

Italian ice,the origins of the hotdog and backpack-toting college students are just a sampling of the rich cultural backdrop of this near southwest side Chicago setting.University Village/Little Italy is a union of two separate communities that have merged as one, bringing the best of both worlds to a single Chicago neighborhood. The University of Illinois Chicago campus instills a collegiate sensibility with faculty and students milling about, while the blocks of Little Italy present a much quainter appeal with friendly front stoops occupied by groups of neighbors gathered to chat. Much anticipated Little Italy street festivals and holiday parades give community members even more reason to congregate, along with throngs of other Chicagoans who come to partake in the fun. Lying catty-corner to the Chicago Loop, this neighborhood's proximity to the bustling city center is convenient, without marring the area's characteristic Old World charm. A quick ride on the Blue Line Eltrain or a short trip on the Eisenhower Expressway will get you right downtown in minutes.

83 University Village Homes For Sale

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Because of the fluctuating past and ever-changing landscape of University Village and Little Italy, your humble abode in this Chicago neighborhood could range from new condominium to two-flat graystone to historic million-dollar single-family townhome, depending on style, needs and budget. Proximity to UIC and the Loop make this area a booming spot for construction and renovation, which has produced a number of contemporary living spaces in the form of modern townhouses, duplexes and low-rise condo buildings.

An increase in student population has led to healthy neighborhood growth, not only of the UIC campus, but in the surrounding areas with increased residential developments adding to University Village's real estate to accommodate faculty, scholars, and the general establishment of a thriving academic community.

In Little Italy, where manicured gardens are tucked behind iron gates and courtyards are flourishing with foliage, the brick and graystone flats present an Old World feel with attention to architectural detail. The occasional concrete lion roars at passersby from stone steps, but mostly the stone stoops are adorned with friendly faces and long-time residents who enjoy the simple pleasures of watching the neighborhood goings-on from their own front porch.

Although it is rare in urban meccas this close to the city’s center, all the houses on the block of Flournoy Street, east of Loomis Street in Little Italy, were built on a double lot and have remained so to this day. This extra bit of space is a prize possession in Chicago neighborhoods and makes this near west side community an even more desirable setting to buy a home.

University Village History

Another point-of-entry neighborhood for many immigrants to Chicago, these adjoining communities of strong cultural heritage have evolved over the years to become hubs of growth and development. Local landmarks like the Jane Addams Hull House Museum remind residents of rich traditions and the struggle for upward mobility that faced many of their ancestors. The area known as Little Italy was named for the once dense population of Italian immigrants and its near west side neighbor, University Village, was informally known as the Maxwell Street neighborhood after the bustling street that is one of the oldest residential areas in Chicago.

At the turn of the 20th century, University Village played an important role in Chicago’s Jewish community, with shops and outdoor markets replicating their life in Europe. A wave of African Americans from southern states migrated to this region in the early 1920s, but most of the local businesses remained Jewish-owned. Still, there was a distinct energy brewing in the neighborhood, and it came out in the form of the Chicago Blues movement. Musicians played this new sound on Maxwell Street, the famous University Village outdoor market where you could buy anything from used furniture and household cleaning products to fresh produce. The market was relocated to make way for the ever-sprawling campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago in the 1990s to nearby Canal Street between Taylor and 16th streets. Considered by many to be a shadow of what it used to be, street vendors continue the tradition, setting up for business at sunrise every Sunday.

In recent years, the old Maxwell Street area has been reinvigorated with shops catering to middle and upper class residents and college students. Restaurants, retail chains and clothing boutiques are the new heart of the shopping district. It is surrounded by the UIC campus and recreation field to the west and north, and new housing developments to the south.

As its name might suggest, Little Italy has a rich immigrant history as well. Many ethnicities have always resided on the stretch of streets along Taylor Street in either direction, but the strong Italian influence earned this area its moniker. Historic Roman Catholic churches stand as proud references to a time when the community was built up between 1898 and 1911. Parishes may have once fed the spiritual needs of Little Italy’s population, but later on parks and restaurants sprouted up, taking their place by fulfilling appetites and creating meeting places.

Now, the two communities of distinctly different characteristics and names are considered one neighborhood and share one zip code. Students attending the area college take up residence in both University Village and Little Italy, as do many families and young professionals of varying heritage.

The Sights of University Village

University Village Neighborhood Photo
University Village Neighborhood Photo
University Village Neighborhood Photo
University Village Neighborhood Photo
University Village Neighborhood Photo
University Village Neighborhood Photo
University Village Neighborhood Photo
University Village Neighborhood Photo

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Dream Town Knows University Village

As Chicago neighborhood experts, Dream Town has successfully sold properties in University Village. Dream Town holds a well-earned reputation for its impressive sales volume and dedication to personal, attentive service. Benefit from the Dream Town advantage when selling your University Village home. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Dream Town drives more sales than any other Chicago brokerage.

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Surrounding Neighborhoods

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