As we’ve just mentioned, Washington Park is the 2016 Summer Olympics location hopeful. If Chicago ends up with the winning ticket to host the Summer Games, Washington Park neighborhood will get a second chance to reinvent itself and step even further away from the half-century of disrepair that plagues its past.
Aside from the massive parklands of Washington Park, and rundown remnants of the last century’s architectural movement in Chicago, roughly 50 percent of the neighborhood’s lots are vacant. The majority of Washington Park’s residents are low-income families. However, we Chicagoans haven’t lost faith in rebuilding this once affluent community.
The City of Chicago recently launched programs that allow mixed income residents to live side-by-side by creating affordable homes below market price for individuals and/or families that meet eligibility requirements. This is all made possible with the cooperation of participating developers working with the city to retain as many of the long term community members as possible. The surge in gut rehab and new construction condominiums is a sure sign that the neighborhood is amidst change. We feel that the ambitious revitalization taking place in the surrounding neighborhoods such as Kenwood, Hyde Park and Bronzeville will only make Washington Park’s fresh makeover inevitable—with or without the Olympics.
As it is today, much of the neighborhood consists of low- and mid-rise brick condos—both vintage and new construction models. Surrounding many of the properties are wrought-iron fences that provide both a sense of security and a nice, well-kept appearance to the residential streets. While attached multi-unit homes are in abundance in Washington Park, single-family detached houses are more difficult to find. The average sales price for a one-bedroom condo is around $168,000, with some studios listed for under $100,000. If you and your family need a little more space—most likely you will—the price point is more, but you definitely get your money’s worth. For example, a three-bedroom condo around here is $205,000, on average.