By Jake Parker, Kiser Group
Known for being the home of Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs, Wrigleyville has experienced a surge of real estate development from residential to hotel to retail in the last few years.
Since the purchase of the Chicago Cubs in 2009, the Ricketts Family and other real estate groups have spent over $1 billion developing the area surrounding the ballpark. Gallagher Way consists of two main buildings and a 30,000 SF community-oriented open plaza, which hosts game day activities, concerts and winter activities with multiple stores and restaurants. The first of two buildings is situated to the north of Wrigley Field, located at 1101 W Waveland, is a mixed-use building anchored by Chicago Cubs front office and the American Airlines conference center, boasting nearly 10,000 SF of flexible meeting space. The second building, to the west of Wrigley Field and located at 3630 N Clark, is Hotel Zachary, a 173-room boutique hotel. It opened in 2018 and features high-end cocktail bar Mordecai, Smoke Daddy, West Town Bakery and Big Star Tacos as ground-floor retailers.
Across from Wrigley Field where souvenir shops and bars once were, now stands The Residences at Addison and Clark, a luxury apartment development. The 148-unit apartment building began accepting residents in 2018. The property features studio units starting at $2,060, one-bedroom units starting at $2,515 and two-bedroom units starting at $3,710 and units range in size from 501 to 1,409 square feet.
Impact on Vintage Apartments
Landlords are also taking advantage of the renewal of Wrigley Field and surrounding development by renovating units to fit the desired quality of today’s tenants. In Wrigleyville, there is a high demand for one- and two-bedroom units. Renters are looking for higher-end finishes including granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and in-unit laundry.
The “upscaling” of Wrigleyville has increased rents in the area. An average 700 SF renovated one-bedroom unit is renting for around $1,750 or $2.50 per SF, whereas a vintage one-bedroom unit would rent for around $1,200 or $1.71 per SF. An average 900 SF two-bedroom one-bath unit, is renting for $2,050 or $2.27 per SF in renovated condition and $1,700 or $1.89 per SF in vintage condition.
The “college kid” neighborhood is changing, and there is a significant spread between renovated and unrenovated units. Landlords would be wise to invest in updating their vintage units.