West Loop: More to brag about than just the UC - New York News

West Loop: More to brag about than just the UC

Posted: Updated:
(Wikimedia) (Wikimedia)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

After losing the second game of the Western Conference finals, the Chicago Blackhawks will be looking for resurgence when their series with the L.A. Kings resumes on Saturday.

But another resurgence is already underway in the neighborhood just east of the United Center.

The West Loop sees a surge of people on nights when the Hawks are in town. TV screens in bars light up with game, and registers light up with cash. But the question is, do these red-clad visitors turn into regular patrons in the off season?

“I think, this being what some would say the Golden Age of the Blackhawks hockey, it's getting a lot of people to see what a cool neighborhood this is, and there's definitely a lot more people coming in on non-Hawks games,” said Panchi Cole, the assistant general manager at West End Bar and Grill, a Blackhawks bar on West Madison.

But many people are doing more than just visiting the area for a night out. It’s become a hot neighborhood to call home. Monica Frager moved here two years ago.

“I really enjoy this neighborhood, there's a lot of young professionals, a lot of people my age, it's very dog friendly, it's very sports oriented and those are all the things that I like," Frager said as she walked her dog.

And she's not alone. The amount of newly built, or under construction housing, is incredible, and in demand. According to Census data, from 2000 to 2010, the population in this part of Chicago more than doubled. Sterling Bay, the developers who recently bought Oprah's old studio, see tremendous potential in the near west side, most notably in the Fulton Market area.

“To find an area so close to the central business district that's been relatively untouched for so long is relatively unique,” said Sterling Bay’s Founding principal Scott Goodman. “I think that if you go to any major metropolitan area in the country you'd be hard pressed to find a neighborhood with this kind of opportunity and this kind of character.”

Goodman doesn't believe the Blackhawks popularity is driving that. But Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) believes it certainly doesn't hurt.

“I think some of it is people getting introduced to it when they come to the United Center, see the games, they see that are a lot of things that are happening in the West Loop area,” Burnett said.

Besides housing, there's plenty of newer businesses and restaurants, which all benefit from those coming to the neighborhood either because of the Blackhawks, or simply because it's close and convenient for people working downtown.

Goodman notes the growth in the West Loop has to do with its character and proximity, and the public transportation options.

“It's continued to grow because Chicago is becoming a more and more popular workplace for the Millennials,” Goodman said.

And as more high tech jobs move into the downtown area, it’s likely to fuel more growth in the West Loop.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:11:38 GMT
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
  • New MTA bus routes take effect

    New MTA bus routes take effect

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:51:36 GMT
    MTAMTA
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
  • 3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:47:41 GMT
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices