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A Renter's Guide to Dynamic Noble Square

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Noble Square might just be the most electrifying neighborhood for younger renters. Not college age necessarily, but a slightly more settled and mature crop. But it was never really built for the renter in the sense that East Lakeview, The Loop, or parts of Uptown are. With a couple exceptions (Noble Square co-op, Eckhart Park-adjacent apartment slabs), Noble Square is a 'hood of three-flats, frame homes, and condominium infill. Proximity to more celebrated West Town areas like Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village make this a popular refuge from the sensory assault of those ultra hip environs. That's not to say the neighborhood's principle commercial strip, Chicago Ave, isn't filling in with like-minded retail and bars. In fact, much of the "action" between Noble and Ashland caters unabashedly to the new crowd. Five Star, Branch 27, Leopold, Mexique, Butterfly, Green Zebra, Seek Vintage, Lush Wines, and Noble Grape come to mind. When you think about it, this condensed foodie scene KO's Wicker's or Bucktown's (although the northerly bits of the nabe participate more in those scenes).

A testament to the area's enduring desirability is seen in the gradual resumption of small-scale multi-unit condo construction. And for a time, it looked like condos were way over-built. It's still the case that prices are depressed and many condos are being rented out. That's helped Noble Square nurture a dynamic and reasonably affordable rental scene, for now.

Rental Units: More variety than a lot of neighborhoods, from traditional flats to small apartment buildings, large apartment buildings, single family and condo rentals. There's also a sizable rental stock above businesses on Chicago, Ashland, and Division for more urbane (and noisy) living. A fair number of rentals won't turn up on MLS, as they require minimal marketing, are on the sublease market, or are just dealt with more casually.

Rent Range: Studios are very scarce; available one-beds from $900-$1,600; two-beds from $1,275-$2,600; three-beds from $1,675-$3,700.

Neighborhood Highlights: Several of the neighborhood's commercial attractions have already been named. We add to that list a great pair of coffee houses in Swim and Lovely. The Chopin Theater is certifiably awesome, as are many of the taquerias that line Ashland. For stuff that doesn't cost money, check out Eckhart Park on a warm day (good for league baseball games and picnics) and the Ida Crown Natatorium (aka indoor swimming pool, free for open swim). Pulaski Park has a similar dynamic, except with an outdoor pool.

Sample Listings:
·1026 N Milwaukee Ave #3 2/1 apartment for $1,275.
·1532 W Fry St. #1 3/3 duplex for $2,799.
·1321 N Bosworth Ave. 3/2 penthouse condo for $3,700.
·1412 W Chicago Ave. six available 2/2 units for $2,400 apiece.
·1234 N Cleaver St. 2/1 apartment for $1,300.