Kenwood, home of President Barack Obama, is a neighborhood situated along the lake located a short walk from Hyde Park & University of Chicago. Over the past four years, Kenwood has seen a rebirth following the housing crisis of 2008; new construction is back, board-ups are being torn down to make way for new construction or are being restored to accommodate a growing demand, and national retailers are making there way into the community to create jobs & reinvigorate a historical neighborhood. 

When we look at neighborhoods, we look at three important criteria to determine where the area is heading:

  1. Crime Patterns

  2. New Retail& Public Developments

  3. Building Permit Issuance

Crime 

Many people who hear the word South Side generally think high crime & poverty; very rarely do people associate words such as, "Hidden gem" or "Dynamic" or even "Developing," with the South Side. However, when one looks at the statistics, they may be surprised: Kenwood's crime statistics are comparable, if not better, than those of the ever popular Logan Square. The chart below depicts the downward trend in crime on a historical level. It is important to note the violent crime rate in Kenwood is half that of what realtors often dub "West Bucktown." Additionally, the median income in Kenwood is $38,000: almost equal to West Town and $10,000 more than the median income in Logan Square.* 

Retail & Public Developments

For neighborhoods to grow, retailers and restaurants must assist in redevelopment; Kenwood has seen support of many national retailers  as they've worked with developers to fill new retail spaces in the shopping district of Kenwood. The newest developments in Kenwood are The Shops & Lofts on 47th & the new Mariano's grocery store just north of Kenwood in Bronzeville. The Shops & Lofts on 47th is a new $46M mixed-use development with the retail portion anchored by a Walmart Neighborhood Market (pictured below).

Additionally, Roundy's CEO Bob Mariano came to terms with Alderman Will Burns & Pat Dowell on placing his next store in the neighboring Bronzeville community. This new Mariano's will create hundreds of jobs as well as fill a need for a grocery store in what had been dubbed a "food desert." These two developments are large steps in ensuring Kenwood will progress further as they break the first mover barrier, and instill a sense of security in others to follow.

Construction

In the past 2 years, new construction has seen a surge in Kenwood with developers such as SC Integrity and Jacob Dochee making bold, but successful, moves in churning out high quality luxury housing in an area where most developers would be reluctant to consider. New construction homes are ranging from the low $400s all the way up to the low $600s while rehabs are going from the high $200s to the high $300s. 

Additionally, flippers & investors continue to buy up run down homes and apartment buildings to renovate and provide like-new housing. This has led to the area experiencing dynamic investment demand; cap rates for apartment buildings have compressed from 11% down to about 7.5-8%. This still represents good value, without considering appreciation, for investors seeking a higher return than the North Side counterparts where buildings trade between 5%-6.25%. As rents continue to climb higher for quality apartments (current apartment owners have seen over 11% growth in rent rates to almost $1.05/sq.ft. for condo quality apartments), new investors will share in the upside as the more people pour into this historical neighborhood along Chicago's lakefront. 

*All crime, population, and income data are per the City of Chicago Data Portal