Welcome to West Lawn | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

West Lawn, one of Chicago’s southwestern neighborhoods, has a history of being an ethnic melting pot with a suburban feel, but within the city limits. And, its residents know there’s more than meets the eye.

“It’s a diamond in the rough,” Salvador Gonzalez, associate at RE/MAX Mi Casa and West Lawn’s 2019 Neighborhood Top Producer, said.

WHO’S WHO

The neighborhood’s Eastern European origins are seen strongly through its historic buildings. Originally home to many immigrants from Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic (thanks to its founding by a Lithuanian businessman), West Lawn now boasts the only Lithuanian-focused museum in the U.S., the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, on Pulaski Road.

Today, many residents are of Hispanic and Eastern European heritage. Miguel Sanchez, broker at Ruiz Realty Inc. and West Lawn’s representative on The 77, noted that residents who grew up in the area may move away at some point, but many of them tend to find their way back to the neighborhood. West Lawn appeals to many residents thanks to its new and established schools, plenty of park spaces and a variety of businesses.

GETTING AROUND

Transportation options and proximity to Midway International Airport are both big draws for residents.

West Lawn has benefitted from a series of airport renovations and expansions over the last few decades. In 2002, Midway brought back international flights, which had been on hold for about 40 years. Further projects throughout the mid2000s, as well as a modernization project in 2018, helped to attract more residents to West Lawn, Gonzalez and Sanchez noted.

But air travel is not the only mode of transportation nearby. Walk Score ranks West Lawn’s transportation as a 57, with good access to a variety of transportation modes. Thanks to the Orange Line’s Midway and Kedzie stops, it’s fairly easy to commute into the heart of downtown. But if driving is the preferred mode of transportation, West Lawn has great access for that, too: both I-55 and I-90 are nearby.

TREK AROUND ON FOOT

One of West Lawn’s greatest qualities is the ability to find everything you need within walking distance, Sanchez said, and Walk Score agrees, giving it a 71 rating.

Local grocers like Pete’s Fresh Market, restaurants like Rafa’s Chicken and Windy City Hot Dogs Inc., taquerias like Paco’s Tacos and Tacos & Salsa, and chain stores, many of which are locally-owned, line Pulaski Road and 63rd Street.

“We’ve seen an increase in businesses within the past few years,” he said. “When businesses open in West Lawn, it shows that they have the support of the community.”

Many of these establishments get the added benefit of tourist traffic from those making their way to or from Midway.

“Once you compare West Lawn to other locations in the city…with the prices and the commodities, it has everything to offer,” Gonzalez added.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

In West Lawn, you’ll find block after block of single-family homes. Uniquely, Gonzalez pointed out, there are also many cul-de-sacs and subdivisions, which provide a smalltown feel within city limits.

Housing styles from Cape Cods and bungalows, to two-flats, Tudors and Georgians abound; there are enough home styles throughout the neighborhood to find one that fits just right. Most homes also offer the benefit of yard space, which has been a hot commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Multi-generational homes and two- and three- flats aren’t out of the norm here. These buildings give the appearance of a single-family home on the outside but have the added benefits of allowing homeowners to live in one flat and rent out the other to help towards mortgage payments.

As for park spaces, residents have several options: West Lawn Park is the place to go for clubs and recreational sports like gymnastics, volleyball and basketball. Michael J. Madigan Sr. Park hosts a popular playground for neighborhood kids, and Park No. 528 hosts baseball games for citizens of all ages.

HOW’S THE MARKET?

All the perks of living in West Lawn, when combined with pent-up demand from the COVID-19 pandemic and low interest rates, have created a lightning-quick market over the past few months.

  • Detached homes are flying off the market here, with a year-to-date* market time of just 29 days, a 62.3% decrease from the same time last year.
  • Inventory has also plummeted, with July 2021 seeing detached homes for sale drop 22.9%. Listings are also down 40.6% compared to July 2020, which contributes to the crunch.
  • The 2021 year-to-date median sales price for detached homes was $254,250 up 13% over this period last year

*All year-to-date data is reflective of January to July 2021, with data pulled on August 14, 2021.