Take a walk down Chicago Avenue in West Town. The bustling street near Damen Avenue is a mix of old and new tenants: boutiques, art galleries, a cowboy shop and Mariano’s fresh market.

  • Ukrainian Village was ranked by Redfin as the hottest neighborhood in the country.
  • Ukrainian Village was ranked for its affordability, easy access to downtown and historic charm.
  • The neighborhood is a quiet pocket of tree-lined blocks bordered by amenity-rich streets.

Take a walk down Chicago Avenue in West Town. The bustling street near Damen Avenue is a mix of old and new tenants: boutiques, art galleries, a cowboy shop and Mariano’s fresh market.

New construction homes are lining the streets, but unlike some other thriving neighborhoods like West Loop, much of Ukrainian Village is landmarked. Homes built in the 1800s, towering trees, Ukrainian museums and historic churches add to the appeal of the urban lifestyle.

It’s friendly for cyclists, with easy access to Elston and Milwaukee Ave. bike lanes, accessible by car, easily walkable and connected with multiple bus routes. You can find farm-to-table restaurants, local grocers, coffee roasters, record shops and bakeries galore.

Millennials, families and retirees all mingle together. And dogs are seemingly an equal part of the population.

I admit it, I’ve been a resident of Ukrainian Village for four years. I never want to leave. So am I biased? Turns out, I’m not.

In a report released January 28, Redfin ranks Ukrainian Village as the nation’s hottest neighborhood for 2016. The area is affordable, livable and far from “cookie cutter.”

Sure, there’s some spillover from its neighbor to the north: Wicker Park, but it’s not nearly as developed as the hipster haven. And it’s not nearly as expensive.

The neighborhood is bordered on the south by Grand Ave., Division St. to the north, Damen Ave. to the east and Western Ave. on the west. It’s a small pocket of multifamily and single-family homes bordered by densely developed streets that offer all the city amenities that residents seek.

Ukrainian Village residents can have both a quiet lifestyle and short commute, which is feat that’s hard to come by in most cities. The neighborhood is a straight shot to River North and just slightly north of the Loop, each accessible by CTA buses and the Blue Line.

For the first time, the San Francisco Bay Area isn’t listed in the top 10. There’s one key component the Bay Area is missing from its housing market– affordability.

According to Redfin, the median sales price in Ukrainian Village is $472,000 with a median days on market of 22 days and an average 98.6 percent average sale-to-list price.

Ukrainian Village is a haven for Chicagoans who want access to nightlife and other urban amenities, but it’s our little pocket of quiet in the middle of the hustle. Redfin may have just ranked it the nation’s hottest neighborhood, but it’s residents have known it for years.

Email Kimberly Manning

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