University Village

University Village


University Village is a unique Chicago neighborhood that merges with the city’s own Little Italy, and it’s rooted in an area that once served as a gateway community for new immigrants. The neighborhood serves students attending the University of Illinois at Chicago well, as it’s conveniently located near The Loop, with access to just about everything. Transportation is certainly ideal, as the neighborhood is bordered by the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) to the north, the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/I-94) to the east, 16th Street to the south and Ashland Avenue to the west.

The section of this neighborhood known as University Village was important to both the city’s early Jewish community and the African American Blues Movement. In the early 20th century, the neighborhood shops and markets were owned primarily by Jewish families who developed the area to reflect their European home. It was in the 1920s that a prominent African American population began to arrive, bringing with them their distinct musical sound, which they showcased along the Jewish Maxwell Street Market.

Then there’s Chicago’s Little Italy, where ornate Roman Catholic Churches stand as a reminder of the area’s history. Little Italy still boasts a strong Italian-American population and, as one would expect, there is a sprawling collection of Italian eateries, including the Pompei Bakery, serving pizza and pizza strudel since 1909, and Bruna’s Ristorante, in business since 1933.

Given this neighborhood’s proximity to downtown and The Loop, some might be surprised to find that it includes three public parks. Arrigo Park is six acres of shady landscapes that features a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus, while Addams Park, honoring Jane Addams, offers an indoor swimming pool and hosts various family and students activities throughout the year. The area also includes Sheridan Park, designed by Jens Jensen, and the UIC Outdoor Recreational Facility.

Because this neighborhood has witnessed endless evolution and a growing student population, its real estate offerings include a hodge-podge of two-flat graystones, new-construction condos, historic single-family homes and townhouses. Many homes in the Little Italy-area are built on oversized lots, providing residents with unusually large—and strongly coveted—yards. On average, a one or two-bedroom attached residency will run about $308,000 while a sizeable detached home will reach at least $524,000.

For families considering the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood, there are several quality schools in the area, including the top state-rated Andrew Jackson Language Academy and the Saint Ignatius College Preparatory School. College-age students should visit the University of Illinois at Chicago, known chiefly as a local leader in health care education. The university offers student housing, a university-funded private housing development, boutique-style shops and several on-campus restaurants.  

University Village/Little Italy Real Estate