Northwest Side

Between Chicago’s expanding central core and the booming northwest suburbs around O’Hare International Airport are the bedroom neighborhoods of the Northwest Side, which continue to provide what home-buyers want: stable and safe neighborhoods, shopping, quick access to jobs and diverse housing options.

It’s not just housing. At the CTA’s Cumberland Blue Line stop, in the O’Hare community area, a dozen high-rises contain corporate headquarters, hotels and apartments, with low-rise residential neighborhoods nearby. Industrial buildings stretch along Northwest Highway and in the Knox Industrial Corridor. Three miles of forest preserves provide a green border along the city’s western edge and to the east along the North Branch of the Chicago River.

With diverse job markets in all directions and multiple transportation options, including CTA, Metra, and the Kennedy (I-90) and Edens (I-94) Expressways, the neighborhoods are home to 327,000 people. Unlike many areas of the city that have declining populations, the Northwest Side is stable. Housing values are high in some areas—with teardowns making way for new mansions—but housing remains affordable in most areas south of Lawrence Avenue, where a fast-growing Latino population has joined previous generations of Poles and other white ethnic groups. [Excerpted from Summary of Assets]

Northwest Side Assets

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.

Northwest Side Data

Neighborhoods are in a constant state of change. Data for the built environment informs decision-makers about existing conditions and allows for comparisons across neighborhoods and against citywide averages, and helps to determine what investments are needed.

Northwest Side Plans

Chicago has many citywide and local place-based plans with stated goals for the built environment. Some are municipal; others are nonprofit driven. They prioritize public and private capital investments, provide important context for those investments and help determine how a community should grow and where development should occur.