Yes, it was once dubbed "Satan's Mile," and until the 1970's, the South Loop was known for its vice district, SRO hotels and Skid Row reputation. But the 1980's saw a major urban renaissance, and in a city chock full of "up and comings," the South Loop continues to be the real deal. Making up about 74 square blocks just south of Chicago's main business center -- the Loop -- the neighborhood not only maintains some of the city's historic charm (classic taverns, vintage architecture) it is also the home of brand-spanking-new residential, commercial and recreational resources. Not convinced? Check out these details.
Location, Location, Location
If you want to walk to work, proximity to Chicago's working heart makes renting an apartment in the South Loop a no brainer. Access to all four CTA subway lines, the expressway, and even an extensive new network of bike paths makes getting around easy.
Big Front Yard
Grant Park, the city's 319-acre playground, borders the South Loop's eastern perimeter. Here you can bike the lakefront, swim at the 12th Street beach, or catch a summer music festival. A quick walk and you'll be at the Museum Campus (comprising the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium) or at Soldier Field, where you can catch 'Da Bears' in action and then beat the crowds home.
Plenty of Options
When it comes to housing for rent, the South Loop offers a variety of options. Historic Printer's Row, which once housed a thriving book publishing industry, is now filled with urban lofts, mid-rise apartment buildings and condo conversions. Dearborn Park is a planned community built upon the acres of rail yards that once served Chicago's industrial corridor. But it is the new high rise apartment complexes that are the real draw, offering hundreds of studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for rent in a highly competitive renter's market, many with panoramic views of the lake or downtown.
Dining and Entertainment
The South Loop is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. Translated: great music, restaurants, and a lively arts scene. With the School of the Art Institute nearby, local galleries and boutiques offer special events on a regular basis. Printer's Row still has specialty book dealers, and its annual Lit Fest attracts writers and book lovers from all over the world. There are entertainment venues from Chicago's legendary jazz and blues eras nearby, and you will find locals lined up at some of Chicago's hippest breakfast and brunch spots the morning after.
With its easy access to Chicago's central business district, entertainment venues and its jewel of a lakefront, when you consider places to rent in Chicago, don't hesitate to give the South Loop a look.