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A Renter's Guide to Ukrainian Village

[Photo by David hilowitz/flickr creative commons]

Ukrainian Village has a preserved old-timey character, and not much of the architectural contrast of nearby Wicker Park, East Village, or West Town. For better or for worse, it's free of much of the jarring contemporary infill of those 'hoods. It's a compact neighborhood of limited building types and landmarked bungalow strips with churches every couple blocks. New condo construction on Chicago Ave between Damen & Western promises to keep the strip lively for some time. Never a lot on the menu, but a coveted place to live, the powers that be often bend the boundaries to make you think you're in the UV. This is especially true when it comes to Humboldt to the West. Count on Craigslist to serve up many out-of-bounds rentals you never asked for.

Rental Stock: Historic bungalows, dense pockets of 3 and 4-flats with balconies, almost all brick. Low-rise condos at the Wicker Park border and walk-ups atop Chicago Ave retail. No high-rises.

Price Range: About $750 for a studio to about $3,500 for a high-end condo or 4BD house.

Who Lives There: Hipsters, church-going Ukrainians and Poles, students, artists, punk rockers, and lifers.
Highlights: For Eastern European flavor, visit the Ukrainian National Museum or the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art or go snooping in one of the area's Orthodox Churches. Holy Trinity Cathedral is the oldest, and designed by none other than Louis Sullivan. There's also tasty Ukrainian groceries (can't top the meat or the prices) sprinkled along Chicago Ave, and the requisite Mexican joints. Newer dining outposts include Chickpea, Jerry's and many a Division Street pub/restaurant. Western has the rugged charm, with immortal rock venue Empty Bottle and a number of old Ukrainian bars, each with its gleaming Old Style sign.

Sample Rentals:
·2/2 contemporary condo on the Wicker/UV line, $3,500/mo
·Restored Bungalow 3-bed, $1,450/mo
·Augusta Blvd vintage 1,400 sf 3-bed, $1,500
·2 bed + office w/ hardwoods in heart of UV, $1,150
·Chicago Ave 2-bed w/ high ceilings & hardwoods, $1,395
·$1/sf for this top-floor, pet-friendly 2-bed. $1,000/mo
·Duplex modern apt w/ high ceilings, fireplace, nice appliances, $1,650
·Renters Week 2011 [Curbed]