Many people moving away from the city out to the suburbs may have some “sticker shock”. Buzzworthy towns, such as Evanston, Oak Park, La Grange, or Elmhurst are all great places to live. But, that comes with a price tag, especially in recent years when home price increases have accelerated across the market. Allow us to introduce you to Forest Park – a true hidden gem in the suburbs. Here’s what we love about it:
1: Feels Like the City
If you were to be dropped into the middle of this vibrant suburb, you probably would think you’re somewhere in Lakeview or Edgewater. Homes on tree-lined streets, 25’-50’ wide lots.
The median home price of a single family home is around $275,000. Completely renovated homes can be had from $350k – $450k+. Condos can be bought for as little as $60k. And luxury, new construction townhomes are going for around $450k! Tons of value!
3: Madison Street and Downtown District
Forest Park has one of the most alluring and vibrant downtowns of any suburb. The heart of it is Madison Street, home to dozens of shops, restaurants, bars, a hardware store, co-working office space, coffee shops, and more! This vibrancy trickles to the immediate blocks around Madison, with some complimentary areas along both Harrison and Roosevelt Road.
4: TONS of Public Transportation
This village is served by 2 CTA train lines (Green and Blue), 1 Metra line (UP-W), and several bus routes through Pace and CTA. The heart of public trans here is the Blue Line, which has a large transit station and is great for commuters heading downtown or to the UIC / Rush Medical District.
5: Very Walkable
No matter where you are in Forest Park, you are walking distance to most area amenities. The village has also proactively installed pedestrian crossings complete with flashing signs to slow drivers down and allow pedestrians easy crossings.
6: Amazing Park District
The parks along Harrison Ave are outstanding. Within this multi-block span are multiple softball fields, a synthetic turf soccer field, tennis courts, a skate park, and a bonafide aquatic center. There’s so much softball played on the fields outside, it is home to the 16” Softball Championship and Hall of Fame!
The newly-opened Roos Recreation Center houses a massive gymnasium for basketball, volleyball and other indoor sports activities as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center!
7: Varied Housing Stock
There really is something for everyone here. We’ve seen it all: classic victorians, American 4 squares, proper Chicago bungalows, “workers” cottages, craftsman, urban / modern, and the ever-popular “coastal” style that people love these days (a la HGTV’s Fixer Upper – go shiplap!).
8: Multi-unit Options
There also are a healthy number of 2-4 unit buildings, making Forest Park a favorite among savvy homeowners who wish to live in a property and offset some costs with apartment rentals.
9: Dog Parks!
Forest Park actually has 2 dog parks! Forest Park Dog Park (aka Forest Bark) is on Circle Ave, near Madison Street. Pictured left, this park is a great place to hang with your pup and get them socialized with others and is an intimate park just like ones in Chicago.
If your pooch needs some serious space to roam, then check out Miller Meadow Dog Park (pictured right). This is a Cook County Forest Preserve park that has 3 acres for your dog to roam off leash. You take these parks for granted in the city, but they are few and far between in the burbs!
10: Proximity to Downtown Chicago
Whether you commute for work, or just like spending time in our world-class city, Forest Park gets you there fast. Typically, you can be downtown in under 30 minutes – it’s only 9 miles away!
We think these are some pretty compelling reasons. But don’t take our word for it – come on out and see for yourself! We think Forest Park is an amazing value, offering all the amenities of city living at a fraction of the cost.