Where to Find Luxury Real Estate in Chicago
Chicago, home to more than 8.7 million residents, is best described as a collection of neighborhoods. If you're looking for unique, upscale Chicago homes, two of the most interesting of these are the Gold Coast Historic District, located north of downtown, and the Mag Mile neighborhood, centered around North Michigan Avenue in the heart of the city.
The Gold Coast Historic District
Chicago's Gold Coast Historic District, a part of the city's Near North community area, developed in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire in 1882. The neighborhood, now a part of the National Historic Register, is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the United States. Chicago homes here vary from high-rise condos with views of Lake Michigan to 19th century mansions to row houses. There are also a few Chicago single family homes of varied styles in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Condos along the Gold Coast can be found for under $200,000, but the majority of units are priced at $400,000 and higher. Chicago single family homes in the Gold Coast neighborhood are few and far between. Those that do come on the market are in high demand and are usually priced at $1 million or higher. One of the most interesting sections of the neighborhood is the Astor Street District, home to several dozen 19th century mansions set along the tree-lined boulevard, including the Archbishop of Chicago's residence.
Residents of these Chicago homes are near a myriad of shops and restaurants. Shops include unique high-end boutiques as well as recognizable names like Diesel, Bang and Olufsen and Prada. Restaurants in the neighborhood, many of which are located on or just off of Rush Street, range from elegant dining rooms to cozy pizza joints. Local favorites include Gibson's Bar and Steak House and Carmine's for Italian food. Many additional shopping and dining options are located just south of the Gold Coast in the Magnificent Mile neighborhood.
The Gold Coast Historic District is also near Oak Street Beach, a waterfront oasis amid all of the high-rise buildings; the Newberry Library, a repository of research books, including several collections about Chicago history; and the Lincoln Park Zoo.
The Mag Mile neighborhood
The Magnificent Mile neighborhood is perhaps best known to Chicago shoppers. After all, the area is home to Water Tower Place, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstroms and Neiman Marcus, just to name a few of the high-end retailers and shopping centers based there. However, Mag Mile (as the neighborhood is affectionately known) is also home to a number of luxury Chicago homes, ranging from high-rise condos to townhouses to a few detached, single family homes. Prices for condos in this neighborhood start at around $150,000 for studio units. Chicago single family homes here are at a premium, with most of the neighborhood's real estate consisting of condos. Prices for these homes, when they are available, usually exceed $1 million.
Mag Mile residents are just steps away from some of Chicago's most notable landmarks. These include the Gothic Chicago Water Tower, the second oldest water tower in the United States; the Gothic-Revival Tribune Tower and the modern Trump International Hotel and Tower.
The Mag Mile area is very walkable and, in addition to its high-end shopping, offers dozens of restaurants, serving everything from deep-dish pizza to French cuisine. In fact, some of Chicago's most renowned eateries, such as Mike Ditka's and Cafe 676, are located within the Mag Mile neighborhood. Several Chicago museums are within walking distance of the neighborhood, including the Chicago Art Institute, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and the Shedd Aquarium.
If you're looking for unique Chicago homes, homes with a tie to the city's historic and cultural background, you needn't look further than the Mag Mile and the Gold Coast Historic District.