North Kenwood may have been down, but it was never out. Now professionals are flocking to this historic enclave.
By Jean A. Williams
Chicago’s North Kenwood District—on the city’s South Side—may have seen its heyday years ago, but now it’s experiencing quite the revitalization. Designated a historic district in June 1993, the area is filled with masonry row houses dating to the turn of the 20th century. Some of these stately structures have been rehabilitated and given new life as condominiums and single-family homes. They now share the landscape with new-construction housing—both large developments and private homes—that boast luxury features.
Plenty of the city’s elite and professional denizens are looking to spread their wings beyond the obvious choices for upscale living and are pioneering such communities as North Kenwood and nearby areas of similar historic importance such as the Oakland District and Bronzeville, fueling their re-emergence as destination neighborhoods.
Karen van Ryck deGroot, 36, and her husband Jerry Grenon, 40, are both lawyers who work in Hyde Park; they chose North Kenwood when they decided to buy their first home. Previously, they resided in Lake View, one of the city’s yuppiest enclaves. Instead of purchasing there, they purchased a condominium at Lake Park Gateway II, a 23-unit luxury condominium development now under construction at 1223-1249 E. 46th St.
“We looked on the North Side and compared prices to North Kenwood on the South Side, and learned it’s much more affordable down here,” van Ryck deGroot says. “Price is, of course, an important factor. But in addition to that I thought that Lake Park Gateway II had the best bang for the buck in terms of amenities.”
Van Ryck deGroot and Grenon purchased a 4-bedroom, 3-bath duplex condominium with 2,600 square feet of living space. They have lived happily in their new home for over a year.
Available 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units with 1,380 to 1,500 square feet of space range in base price from $249,900 to $349,900 at Lake Park Gateway II, according to developer Mitchell Newman, principal of Stratagem Home Builders. Several units are ready for immediate delivery. The second phase will include a 3-flat condo building and a 4-flat condo building.
North Kenwood’s Perks
• Miles of beaches and bike trails along nearby Lake Michigan
• Minutes from dining, shopping, and recreation in downtown
• Bally Total Fitness club one block south on 47th Street
• An assortment of dining and shopping—including Park 52, Leona’s, and La Petite Folie—also in Hyde Park
• Treasure Island Foods at 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue for groceries, deli take-out, and other convenient purchases