THE HISTORY BEHIND SANDBURG VILLAGE
Around the mid-century mark, Chicago planners became concerned about some of the city’s more undesirable neighborhoods encroaching upon the affluent Gold Coast. That’s when they came up with a plan to redevelop around 16-acres of land and turn it into something they viewed as more desirable for the city and the surrounding neighborhood.
The idea was to change over the property and make it into a buffer of sorts between some of the city’s more rundown neighborhoods and the Gold Coast. To accomplish this, the city ended up relocating more than 1,000 local residences and tearing down some of the old buildings that once stood in the neighborhood.
It wasn’t a plan without controversy. A Chicago Alderman hotly opposed the plan, but Mayor Richard Daley overrode the opposition, and construction soon followed. It wasn’t long before a developer came in and quickly built several high-rise buildings and some townhomes.
At the time, it was projected rents would start at $115 a month for studios, $133 a month for one-bedroom units, and $167 for two-bedroom units. When Sandburg Village opened up, however, rent prices were a bit higher than original projections.
HOW SANDBURG VILLAGE CHANGED CHICAGO
While the new Sandburg Village development continued to be a controversial project for some local residents, others credit Sandburg Village’s success even today. It’s said redevelopment of the property in the Near North Side likely stabilized the immediate area, plus it may have also encouraged investment in the surrounding area.
Some say a similar project in the South Loop called Dearborn Park likely happened because of the success of Sandburg Village.
THE CONVERSION FROM RENTALS TO CONDOS
By the late 1970s many of Chicago’s largest apartment buildings were being converted to apartments. It’s said Sandburg Village was one of the last of Chicago’s large rental developments to undergo a conversion itself.
Some residents were alarmed when Sandburg Village announced it too was going to be converted into condos. Afterall, the area was a relatively affordable place that was close to what many people needed and wanted in the city.
THE SANDBURG VILLAGE OF TODAY
Despite some original opposition, the conversion pushed forward. These days, Sandburg Village is made up of more than 2,600 residential units, with eight high-rise buildings, a mid-rise building, plus 60 townhomes and artists’ lofts. Buyers can choose from everything from a studio to a one-, two- or three-bedroom unit. There are also some one-bedroom artists’ lofts and some large townhomes in a two-story floor plan.
Because this is a more established residential community, many of the unis of Sandburg Village have been updated over the years and decades, and some of them have even been combined together to create much larger residences. Many units inside the development come with balconies, and prices vary greatly depending on the building, floor, exposure and any upgrades to the individual units.
AMENITIES AT SANDBURG VILLAGE
Much of the site is landscaped open space, including a village center with shops, offices and benches. The property also features two outdoor swimming pools. Each pool comes with cabanas, locker rooms and attendants. Pool membership is available during season for an additional fee.
While street parking in the area isn’t always attainable, residents can choose to rent parking space in an underground heated garage. Other options for residents include a tot lot for young children and four tennis courts. The majority of Sandburg Village is pet-friendly, but that’s not the case with every building on the property.
There are also some hospitality rooms in the Alcott and Eliot House buildings available for rent, plus you’ll find some commercial space including a dentist and a doctor’s office, a salon, a real estate office, child car facilities and a dry cleaners.
Many residents of Sandburg Village shop at Potash Market, while the 24-hour Jewel Food Store sits right on the southern tip of the village. As well, the area is conveniently close to green space and outdoor recreational opportunities at places like nearby North Avenue Beach, Oak Street Beach and Lincoln Park.
As for transportation, there are multiple bus routes sitting along LaSalle and Clark. In addition, a CTA Red Line stop can be found at the southern end of the Sandburg Village development.