Total nonfarm employment for the Chicago Metro Area stood at 4,383,200 in November 2012, up 37,200 or 0.9 percent, over the year, according to a recent report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicating that employment in the nation’s third-most populous city is seeing a comeback. Health care, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing have been acting as recurring job growth generators on the local employment scene in the last twelve months.
The favorable economic context will most likely translate into a higher demand for urban housing as well as an increase in rental rates. (City vacancy ranking chart) Prompted by the steady improvement recorded in the real estate market, construction is picking up with new project announcements reported regularly. Cranes are again a common sight on Chicago’s lofty skyline, giving renters hope for a better future, with a wide variety of housing options for all tastes and budgets.
As one of Chicago’s strongest submarkets, Near North Side continues to attract major investors including a new apartment high-rise proposed for the northeast corner of Chicago and LaSalle. The Moody Bible Institute agreed to sell a property located at 819 N. La Salle (across the street from the Moody campus) to an entity controlled by W. Harris “Bill” Smith, principal of Smithfield Properties LLC.
The developer plans to build a 30-story tower featuring 290 residential units, with some ground-floor retail operations. “I think he feels there’s a continuing opportunity in the city for residential rental properties,” Jack George, Smith’s zoning attorney, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Smithfield Properties is behind many successful residential projects within the city, including Sono, the two-tower top-notch complex at 840-860 W. Blackhawk, near the North and Clybourn retail hot spot, and the 30 W. Oak luxury condominium building.
Here’s a video of Near North Side, one of Chicago’s elite community areas, boasting an impressive architecture, whether it’s classic style in Old Town or utterly grandiose in Streeterville, all enhanced by a stunning landscape and some of the world’s finest dining and shopping venues.