Living in the South Loop
A few decades ago, you would have been hard pressed to find a South Loop apartment of any kind. Now, this polished industrial neighborhood is on the rise, perhaps too fast. The South Loop used to be the red light area of Chicago, full of burlesque theaters, brothels, and bars. Residential hotels added a skid row element as well until the 1970s. Then it was nothing more exciting than warehouses and parking. So, why did this prime real estate lie fallow for so long? A better question might be if the South Loop can retain its quiet cool under an onslaught of construction.
Even with aggressive development, the South Loop stays calmer than other central neighborhoods. That’s how residents here like it. Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute help to import artists, students, and a dash of insouciance to the South Loop. Gentrification may be the trend, but so far this neighborhood’s hip heart is safe.
South Loop Lifestyle and Entertainment
Growing fast, the South Loop keeps up with good food options and cute shops. Opera and Gioco are just two examples of upscale eateries here. Groceries and other services keep getting easier to find as well. One shopping option is Dearborn Station, the oldest standing train station in the city. It’s been converted into retail and office space.
The South Loop’s stretch of lakefront is busy with the Museum Campus and Soldier Field. In between Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium you’ll find the green of Grant Park and Northerly Island Park. The South Loop is dotted with other pocket parks as well.
South Loop Info and the Rental Market
Most of the rentals in the South Loop are warehouse to loft conversions, high-rise apartments, and town homes. It’s a neighborhood that sings to singles—you won’t find many families here. The average two-bedroom in the South Loop rents for $2,340 a month.
Because it’s so central, the South Loop enjoys excellent access to public transportation. Green, Red, Orange, and Blue Line ‘L’ trains stop at stations here. You can also catch South Shore Line trains on the Metra commuter rail or city buses from the South Loop.
South Loop Resources
The South Loop falls within Chicago City Council Ward 2. Just north of here, you’ll find Harold Washington Library Center, the main branch of the Chicago Public Library. There’s a United States Post Office on South State Street.
South Loop Zip Codes
Zip codes serving South Loop are 60605, 60607, and 60616.