DataMarkets & Economy

Renting near the El doesn’t mean elevated pricing

Trulia studies rent costs near public transportation in Chicago
  • A Harris Poll survey revealed easy commutes rank second only to safety in terms of neighborhood choice.
  • Chicago ranked third in the nation for public transit in a Trulia study.
  • Trulia looked at popular El stations in distinct zones of the city and how median rent varies near each.
chicago el

Kubrak78 / iStock.com

One of the biggest benefits to living in a big city is the transportation. In fact, a Harris Poll survey revealed easy commutes rank second only to safety in terms of neighborhood choice.

For Windy City residents, the hunt for faster travel might be significantly easier, given Chicago ranked third in the nation for public transit in a Trulia study. Chicagoans face an average daily commute of 44.3 minutes. In 2010, 25 percent of Chicago households took public transit to work, which dropped slightly to 23.7 percent in 2014. 

Trulia recently launched a new tool for renters called Rent Near Transit, allowing renters to filter listings based on proximity to public transportation stations. Here’s a look at the following popular El stations in distinct zones of the city and how median rent varies near each:

West Town/Fulton River District – Blue Line

Fulton River District, northwest of the Loop, was once a warehouse and industrial hotspot ignored by homebuyers and renters alike. In recent years, the area has undergone heavy residential development, scattered with modern townhomes, mid-rise and high-rise condos. Google recently set up shop nearby, attracting upscale clientele and boosting rental prices.

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Today, the median rent near the Grand station serving Blue Line trains is a steep $2,609 per month.

Lincoln Park – Brown, Red, Purple Express Lines

One of the most in-demand neighborhoods in Chicago is Lincoln Park, with its eastern edge bordering the shores of Lake Michigan. Favorited among millennials, families and retirees alike, the tree-lined and buzzing atmosphere offers a prime mix of tranquility and convenience.

Renting near the Fullerton Station in the heart of Lincoln Park offers access to three different train lines: Red, Brown and Purple Express. The Red Line runs from the far north neighborhoods down to the end of I-94 on the South Side. The Brown Line offers service between the Northwest neighborhoods down to the Loop. During heavy commute hours, the Purple Line express train stops in Fullerton and runs all the way up to the suburb of Evanston.

The cost of renting within a 15-minute walk of the Fullerton station comes at a median $1,800 per month.

Armour Square – Red Line

Armour Square is situated on the city’s South Side near Chinatown. Perhaps the most notable attraction in the neighborhood is U.S. Cellular Park, across the street from the former Comiskey Park site and home of the Chicago White Sox.

Renting in Armour Square is significantly less expensive compared to rents north of the Loop, at a median $1,300 per month. Living near the Red Line stop at Sox-35th may feel crowded during baseball season, but Armour Square retains a close-knit atmosphere the rest of the year.

Jennifer Riner is a reporter for Inman who also writes on assignment for Trulia.