Community assets are those built, natural, cultural and institutional elements that most define a neighborhood. They are anchor institutions, identity markers and community stabilizers. As such, they help guide local capital investment decisions.
The district has a remarkable mix of housing types, with 110-year-old row houses and cottages alongside new balconied condominiums just down the street from corner apartment blocks and high-rises. Land uses are just as varied. The lakefront park is half-a-mile deep in many places, strung with paths and lagoons, Belmont Harbor, Lake Shore Drive, and the free Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory. Retail corridors have widely varied character, including the Belmont theater district, gay-oriented Halsted Street in Boystown, and bars and restaurants along Clark Street in Wrigleyville. To the west along the river and Ravenswood Avenue are reminders of the area’s industrial past, from metal-recycling companies to big-box stores on former factory land.
With more than 23,000 residents per square mile—second highest density among the planning districts after the North Lakefront—and relatively high incomes in many households, the planning district supports more than 2,700 small businesses spread along Clark, Broadway, Halsted, Lincoln, Southport, Belmont and other streets. Character varies from street to street and continues to evolve as rents increase and populations shift. Boutiques and specialty shops historically created a cluster at Armitage and Halsted and continue to thrive there even as some shoppers have moved on to Bucktown, Pilsen and other new hotspots. The area around Cubs Park, known as Wrigleyville, is heavily served by sports-oriented restaurants and bars, some serving not just Cubs fans but Big 10 alums who gather to cheer their favorite college teams. Much of Lincoln Park benefits from DePaul University, which has invested heavily in its campus around Fullerton and Sheffield. [Excerpted from Summary of Assets]