The biggest hotspot for small new construction housing is in Bronzeville, and to a lesser extent its southern neighbor Washington Park. There are thousands of vacant lots here and they are being developed with market-rate single-detached houses and two or three-flats. There are also many market-rate townhouse developments scattered across Bronzeville.
The presumed effect of the Obama Presidential Center in Woodlawn to spur more housing, now under construction, is not yet visible in building permit data.
The biggest hotspots for medium and large new construction housing are in Bronzeville, the Near South Side (especially the area between the South Loop and Bronzeville), Jefferson Park and Portage Park, Uptown, and the West Loop and Near West Side.
Several new phases of ongoing Chicago Housing Authority redevelopment projects in Bronzeville are permitted or under construction, comprising Oakwood Shores (permitted by MAPS) on Pershing Road east of King Drive and Park Boulevard on State Street south of 35th Street. There are also some as of right – which means no zoning change was required – multi-family buildings under construction in Bronzeville, and a rare South Side transit-oriented development (TOD) with 99 units has been permitted next to the 43rd Street Green Line station.
In the Near Southside, there's a CHA project at State & Cermak, called Southbridge (permitted by MAPS), on the site of the former Harold Ickes Homes. The first phase has two identical buildings under construction, with 103 units each (out of a final number of 877 units). Each building facing Street Street will also have ground-floor retail and commercial space.
Across the street from Southbridge on State Street is a residential project being partially funded by an Opportunity Zone fund (we find this rare). Two buildings, developed by City Pads, will offer 28 units; the buildings were permitted as of right. The block is also in a TOD, meaning the building's parking requirements are significantly lessened.
Several miles northwest, in Portage Park, a large new senior housing building, with an Aldi store, is under construction. Across the street from there, a former Sears store will be converted to housing and retail, with a significant physical expansion upward and outward; the project was approved this year but hasn't broken ground.
Following Milwaukee Avenue northwest to Jefferson Park, a new affordable housing development by Full Circle Communities is opening this year with 75 units, and their second affordable housing development in the area, with 48 units, just broke ground. Both Jefferson Park and Portage Park haven't seen development on this scale in a long time, and they both have plenty of space for new development.
New construction in Uptown is strong, too: Following the construction of two large apartment buildings that had move-ins in 2019 (one of which Cedar Street converted into a State of Illinois office building (permitted by MAPS), three more medium and large apartment buildings have been permitted near the Argyle and Wilson Red Line stations.
We're also still seeing significant residential development in the West Loop and Near West Side, including Fulton Market. Several new condo developments are under construction or have had units go under contract this year across from or within two blocks of Mary Bartelme and Skinner Parks.
Across from Union Park, where the Pitchfork Music Festival is held annually, Marquette Companies is wrapping up construction on two buildings (both permitted by MAPS) that face Ogden Avenue and Randolph Street, within one block of the Ashland Green/Pink Line station. These two buildings will rent out 520 apartments.
New housing development goes all the way along Madison Street to Western Avenue, where several of the right developments are wrapping up construction this fall. The owners of these buildings can obtain construction permits without needing a zoning change, and thus break ground before it's written about in the news.