back to blog

Podcast: Spotting Chicago development trends and opportunities

Published on Dec. 30, 2021 by Steven Vance

If you listen to podcasts you’re in for a treat today. (I only recently started listening to podcasts this past spring when I took up running on the path around Douglass Park.)

Casey Smagala and I were guests on the Straight Up Chicago Investor podcast to talk about development trends and opportunities we saw.

Listen on the web, or look it up on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other platforms. It’s 45 minutes long. There are also video clips.

After listening, are you curious about Chicago Cityscape?
Start a free, 14-day trial instantly.

My favorite segments were when we talked about…

  • ADUs, of course, and how the five pilot areas were chosen. In the episode only 19 permits had been issued but now the number is 22. I expressed desire for Chicago City Council to expand the pilot areas. (skip ahead to 12:30 and 25:18)
  • Bronzeville, especially Calumet Avenue, which I showed in the blog post about “trends in new construction”, and the 43 Green eTOD project.
  • development opportunities along the Green Line, both the Lake St branch on the (especially the future Damen station) and the main branch on the South Side through Bronzeville and Washington Park. (skip to 20:50)
  • INVEST South/West, and how it’s a “magnet”: it’s putting millions and millions of deserved dollars into neighborhoods that have been overlooked. Casey used the metaphor “a rising tide lifts all boats” and added that INVEST South/West and other public sector investments is the tide water rushing in. Tom replied, “If the city’s betting on it, my risk tolerance goes up.”
  • Incentives Checker, since Chicago Cityscape is the only place that can determine if any of ~32 financial & development incentives apply to any given location in Chicago and Cook County. (skip to 23:20)
  • converting commercial and retail spaces to residential. This is my favorite topic right now since a lot more of it happened in 2021 than in 2020. You can watch that clip right now in embed below. #UnusedZoningCapacity

Also, Casey shared why people subscribe to Chicago Cityscape (in place of and in addition to other real estate data platforms):

“CoStar is like a Ferrari and Cityscape is like a backhoe. If you want something that’s really pretty and looks good…CoStar does a fine job but they do it all across the country. If you want something that can dig really deep in the City of Chicago, get information that you need that you can’t find, Cityscape is the backhoe that can give you that information.”

Podcast: Spotting Chicago development trends and opportunities was originally published in Chicago Cityscape’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Other posts by Steven Vance

May 2022

The new Chicago Park District headquarters is under construction

April 2022

The 2022 scavenger sale results are in

March 2022

12 features for spring 2022

What’s up in the West Loop: Cranes

ADU permits trickling in spring 2022

Chicago’s first two-unit modular house is constructed — more are on the way

February 2022

Apply for this new property tax incentive by March 31

January 2022

Efficiently find and prospect Scavenger Sale properties

The next Scavenger Sale starts in February 2022

Data Equity Cohort at the midpoint: recent progress + future improvements

December 2021

Podcast: Spotting Chicago development trends and opportunities [you're reading this one]

Cityscape’s Top 12 stories in 2021

Chicago hits 21 ADU permits in 2021

November 2021

This architecture firm is doing the most ADU projects right now

Bickerdike plans to expand service area, to develop more eTOD

Where the new construction hotspots in Chicago are

October 2021

Six ADU permits have been issued since May 2021

September 2021

Where the new state-enacted property tax incentive applies

Cityscape has the maps you need to locate where new ARO rules apply

August 2021

What does the 2020 Census data tell us about Chicago and Chicagoans?

Chicago wants to sell four parking lots it owns on the North Side

Chicago might allow cannabis dispensaries in more zoning districts

July 2021

The first three Obama Presidential Center permits were issued

June 2021

Cityscape receives grant to launch a “Data Equity Cohort”

See if you have a new electoral district in 2022 with adopted redistricted maps

May 2021

110 property owners have told City Hall they intend to build an ADU

April 2021

New maps, data, and filters were added for affordable housing developers and advocates

Find historical imagery for Cook County addresses

March 2021

See Carmin’s future backyard ADU

A new “off-site” ARO townhouse development opens on the West Side

Chicago developers are constructing bigger wood residential buildings due to changes in the code

January 2021

Use new Cityscape tools to grow your ADU business

Cityscape maps updated to reflect new Illinois legislators

Outside the Loop radio shows talks about backyard houses with Chicago Cityscape

December 2020

Cityscape’s Top 12 stories of 2020

Chicago’s ADU ordinance explained in a 4-minute video

Chicago will allow ADUs starting in May — Read our FAQ

City Council to review revised ADU ordinance to apply in pilot areas only

A better ADU rule has the potential to build lower-cost houses on vacant land

Take a tour: Chicago’s first modular house is move-in ready

Chicago prepares a deconversion ban near the 606

November 2020

Chicago readies two North Lawndale sites for sale and redevelopment

Mapping investments in INVEST South/West areas

October 2020

Is COVID-19 affecting Chicago building permits?

September 2020

Commentary: I want an ADU, but the RS-2 exclusion would prevent me from building one

August 2020

Filling a zoned “Pedestrian Street” gap will bring TOD benefits to more blocks

Get a look at new basement ADUs in Bronzeville + 2 other projects

The modular “starter house” in Back of the Yards was assembled

July 2020

Ask Cityscape: Could I build two ADUs at my house?

Here’s what ADU supporters told City Council at the first hearing

Chicago’s ADU ordinance gets a hearing date

May 2020

Chicago’s ADU ordinance was introduced — see what you could build

April 2020

New zoning rules adopted last week

Ordinance would change approval rules for certain industrial uses

Prefab “starter home” is under construction, destined for a vacant lot in Back of the Yards

See what’s in the development pipeline

March 2020

Chicago Cityscape turns 6

New data: How many Airbnbs are in your neighborhood

Ask your alder to support ADUs

Three North Side “Pedestrian Streets” are being combined

Make informed decisions by using your own boundaries

Make informed decisions by mixing your data with Cityscape’s

Chicago’s vacant land problem

February 2020

Metra should add a new station in Humboldt Park

Legalize ADUs across Illinois, lawmaker’s bill says

The one Chicago guidebook you need to read this year

January 2020

Work in industrial real estate? Chicago Cityscape does, too

Let’s keep ADUs in the 2020 news

Cityscape Pro is now available for 1, 2, and 3 month terms

December 2019

Downtown land that Chicago owns is up for sale again — this time thru a sustainable design…

Recreational pot sales start in 13 days

November 2019

Two South Side community hubs are moving forward with investment from Benefit Chicago

Where the ARO units are

October 2019

Where are the cannabis disproportionately impacted areas?