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Gold Coast Real Estate

Chicago's Gold Coast is home to expensive real estate and upscale shopping.

The Gold Coast is located off of Lake Michigan. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
The Gold Coast is located off of Lake Michigan.

Gold Coast Real Estate

Chicago's Gold Coast real estate is the most expensive in the city. The mostly residential Gold Coast region features mansions, high-rise apartments, condominiums and brownstones. It's designer boutiques, upscale dining and office high-rises cater to the city's elite. According to Chicago Home Estates, the Gold Coast area, part of the Near North Side community and including Streeterville, is the second-wealthiest urban neighborhood in the United States, second only to Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Gold Coast Real Estate

The Gold Coast Historic District is part of Chicago's Near North Side community. While neighborhoods evolve over time, the Gold Coast region is generally bordered by North Avenue on the north, Chicago Avenue on the south, Clark Street on the west and Lake Michigan on the east. The zip codes 60610 and 60611 include the trendy, upscale areas of Astor Street, North Lake Shore Drive, Oak Street, Elm Street, Delaware Street and Navy Pier. The Gold Coast lies between the beauty of Lincoln Park and the Magnificent Mile strip of shops, hotels and offices.

According to New View Realty, real estate property in the Gold Coast area runs about $2 to $3 million for a single family home; condos run $250,000 to $350,000. Residents of high-rises pay $100 plus per month for valet parking, or can purchase their own parking spot for between $20,000 and $50,000.

Rental properties are popular in the Gold Coast region for those who don't want to own. Residence in the area provides not only an elite zip code but a gorgeous view of the water and the ability to live in elegant brownstones and modern high-rises. Most apartments allow pets, and amenities include fireplaces, laundry, rooftop sundeck, storage, maintenance and security. Rental apartments range from $1,200 to $2,500 per month. Studios run $1,000 to $1,400 per month.

To find Gold Coast real estate, go online and search the many websites that do business in the area. Search by neighborhood and street, amenities, price range, number of bedrooms, condos and apartments, lofts and studios, single family homes, duplexes or townhomes. Look for featured listings that highlight the best a real estate agent has to offer.

History of the Gold Coast Area

The development of the Gold Coast region owes its existence to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1882, merchant and millionaire Potter Palmer moved from the city's south side of Prairie Avenue to the lakefront area. He filled in the local swamp, which became the famous Lake Shore Drive along the coast of Lake Michigan. On land he built the Palmer Mansion, a 42-room home designed like a castle. Wealthy Chicagoans were attracted to the neighborhood, built their own mansions and within a decade, property values skyrocketed. Thus was born the Gold Coast area.

The Gold Coast neighborhood was originally called the Astor Street District, named for millionaire John Jacob Astor. Although Palmer's castle was demolished in 1950 after it sat vacant for years, other old buildings remain in the historic district. The oldest building is the 1880 residence of Archbishop Patrick Feehan. The 1892 Charnley Perksy House, home of timber magnate James Charnley, still stands and is run by the Society of Architectural Historians. The neighborhood also included Robert Todd Lincoln, the only surviving child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Joseph Medill, founder of the Chicago Tribune and former Chicago mayor. The Gold Coast Neighbors Association presents a concise history of the Gold Coast area.

The National Register of Historic Places, part of the National Park Service, listed the Gold Coast Historic District on January 30, 1978, as a historic place worthy of preservation.

Upscale Shopping and Events

In an area where money is no object, the Gold Coast region today presents the best in upscale shopping and boutiques with such name brands as Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Vera Wang, Lamborghini and Porsche. The Gold Coast area lies next to the Magnificent Mile, formally called North Michigan Avenue. The Magnificent Mile features Saks Fifth Avenue and Ralph Lauren; famous landmarks such as the Wrigley Building and John Hancock Center; and five-star hotels. The area is also known for its nightlife, offering bars and pubs featuring live music. Families can enjoy museums, libraries, art and culture, galleries, theaters, bookstores and festivals as they walk the Mile.

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