You’re an experienced investor, you pride yourself on spotting potential in property, and you make good buys, but you’ve hit a wall. It’s an obstacle that I commonly see seasoned investors meet—that of choice supply. You want more, but it can be hard to track the rapid market. What I often tell investors is that knowing a hot tip can hoist you over that wall before anyone else.

A location I like to use to illustrate this is South Side’s Bronzeville, a neighborhood that is very distinct from pre-established “hot” neighborhoods and has recently experienced a new influx of interest. Located between the lake and Sox stadium, it’s all set for a city-influenced rejuvenation, with new homes filling in previously vacant lots. Being both Hyde Park and Chinatown adjacent, Bronzeville’s rise will likely be expedited thanks to its prime location, and both the city and private developers are already cultivating a lot of action in the area.

Intimate knowledge of this area will serve you well. Knowing precisely where the eyes of the developers are fixed will inform what nearby properties are the smartest investments. Tracking their interest, from supermarket expansions to lakefront construction and empty lot repurposing, can help direct your interest. I’ve outlined here some of the most important developments and Chicago investment opportunities that savvy investors will want to keep an eye on.


Oasis in the Food Desert

Much has been said of the food deserts that exist in Chicago’s impoverished South and West Side neighborhoods. They arise from the unfortunate inaccessibility to fresh produce and quality groceries that exists where there’s a lack of quality grocery stores in the neighborhood. In Bronzeville, where there was once a prominent food desert, there now exists a brand new Mariano’s grocery store as of late 2016. Situated at the corner of S Martin Luther King Drive and E Pershing, the store opened to praise from locals for both its abundant and healthy options as well as its hiring of some 400 locals.

Ending the food desert and embracing its surrounding community, Mariano’s will prove a lasting hub for grocery shopping in the neighborhood. Houses near it will rise in value as more people move into Bronzeville, attracted to the convenience of a nearby, quality grocery store. Specifically, incoming renters attracted to the up-and-coming neighborhood will probably want to live near the new Mariano’s. Seeking out investment properties there may prove lucrative.

Lakefront Developments

For the majority of Chicago neighborhoods, you can expect beach proximity to be an indication of higher price points. Bronzeville will prove no different, especially as the very recent 35th Street pedestrian bridge provides residents easy access to the lakefront. Crossing over Lakeshore Drive, the suspension bridge comes complete with wide lanes for both walking and biking traffic, as well as safety lights and plazas at both ends. In addition to this development, the newly opened recreation center at 35th and Cottage Grove sits just a brief walk away, sporting a pool, fitness room, and gymnasium.

These two projects that both several years ago will create a lot of interest in the streets just off those blocks of 35th St and in the surrounding area. Properties near them will see values rise as homebuyers seek houses in the neighborhood. Particularly, higher-priced properties here will field a lot of attention from wealthier homebuyers looking for a residence not dissimilar to those in pre-established lakefront neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, Boystown, or Edgewater.

Follow the City’s Lead

Much of the renewed interest in the Bronzeville neighborhood is coming at the hands of city officials keen on its rejuvenation. In addition to big city projects, they’ve been courting private investors to take advantage of the area’s long-vacant lots, hoping to fill them in with charming new properties. One such iteration will begin on the 4500 block of S Prairie, where a pair of developers will build two model homes on city-owned lots. The plan then is to proliferate throughout the community with new homes filling in holes on otherwise occupied blocks.

Where there are new homes, the extant ones will rise in value. What begins on Prairie with two developers will continue with myriad others as the city’s one-dollar lot sale comes to a close. Eager to fill the vacancies, the city has been selling them for one dollar each to developers willing to build. For investors looking for projects, it will be a good time to snatch up what homes need rehabbing near where these new homes will be erected. Now is a perfect time, while the lots are sold, but before the construction begins, and before the old homes attract the competition. If a luxury lakefront property is out of your wheelhouse, this will be a smart alternative, with most houses selling south of a million.

Branding for a Jump-Start

Watching the development of other Chicago neighborhoods on the rise will prove just how quickly it can all happen. Within a short window, communities turn around from impoverished to in vogue, showcasing desirable developments and an influx of new residents excited to call the neighborhood home. It can be difficult in the brief timespan to edge out the competition for the choicest properties ripe for investments. That’s where HomeVestors® strong national We Buy Ugly Houses® branding can help investors who team up with its independently owned and operated franchisees to ensure they gain peak seller awareness in a crowded market. Bronzeville is gearing up for a big few years of growth. Smart investors will be there, with all the tools at their disposal, so as not to miss their chance. Contact us today to get started.


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