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Downtown Area Custom Place

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Images, News, Developments

John LaPlante was Chicago’s first transportation commissioner and one of the first Chicagoans to die of COVID-19. Chicago Magazine reprinted a story from July 1992 about the Great Chicago Flood (Leak) for which he was fired the following day.  (W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL)
Author: Samantha Yadron, Dennis Rodkin

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Parcels & Properties within Downtown Area Custom Place

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Notes about our property data

Use one of the tools buttons to see more data. Many properties don't have information about property owners. This is because the properties are non-taxable (tax exempt) and thus the tax billing name & address isn't included in the source data (Cook County Assessor). Building age data is not always reliable. This feature was supported by the Metropolitan Planning Council.

You can purchase all of our Cook County data in the Map & Data Store.

Data update schedule

Property information is updated twice a year; tax and property classification information is updated after the second tax bill goes out (mid summer), and assessment information is updated when a triad is re-assessed (varies based on location).

More info about Downtown Area Custom Place Show/hide this section

Top general contractors

by permits pulled in the last 60 days

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Activity statistics generated at 7/1/2020 7:31 AM

Last building permit was issued on 6/30/2020

issued yesterday
33 6/30/2020
issued last 7 days
issued last 90 days
1,909 4/2/2020 to 6/30/2020

Last building violation was issued on 6/30/2020

issued yesterday
4 6/30/2020
issued last 7 days
issued last 90 days
902 4/2/2020 to 6/30/2020

Last property was transferred on 3/31/2020

transferred yesterday
0 6/30/2020
transferred last 7 days
transferred last 90 days
0 4/2/2020 to 6/30/2020

Last Chicago-owned property was added on 4/14/2020

added yesterday
0 6/30/2020
added last 7 days
added last 90 days
1 4/2/2020 to 6/30/2020

Our property transfer data is updated quarterly, so data may be up to three months behind.

About this Place
The downtown area is defined in 17-1-1500-A of the Municipal Code of Chicago. It was expanded once in June 2016, once in July 2017, and once in November 2017.
Source: Map of Downtown Area designed by Chicago Cityscape

You're free to use our static map of Downtown Area, but please attribute Chicago Cityscape and link to this page.

Custom Place

Downtown Area is one of 88 custom Place Places in our database. View all other custom Place Places.

Downtown Area dimensions

  • The area of Downtown Area is 8.05 square miles and 5,153.24 acres
  • The search/buffer area of Downtown Area is 8.1 square miles and 5,153.2
  • The perimeter length of Downtown Area is 15.6 miles and 82,286.1 feet

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Buildings data

Chicago building permits in the Downtown Area

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Year-over-year permits

Summarizing Chicago building permit activity in the Downtown Area custom Place since 2006

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Building footprints

Showing building footprints in the Downtown Area

Building footprints found here and nearby

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Building violations

Showing a sample of Chicago building violations in the Downtown Area

Building violations found here or nearby

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Images, News, Developments

Showing images, news, developments in the Downtown Area

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Surrounding Places Places that overlap or border Downtown Area

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Housing market info for Downtown Area

Submarket 7 51.5% of Downtown Area

High population growth, newest housing stock

Rapid population growth since 2000 defines this submarket. In fact, it is the fastest growing of all eight segments tracked in this study. Submarket 7 primarily consists of exurbs in McHenry, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties but also includes the downtown core of Chicago. The housing stock in the exurbs is primarily low density and has few rental units. Housing in Chicago’s downtown core is a mix of high rise owner-occupied and rental units. The shared traits of recent growth and expansion help to define this submarket, but there are big variations in data. High transportation costs in the fringe areas of the submarket contrast with the low transportation costs found in the core of Chicago. Despite strong market conditions before 2008, moderate levels of lending, foreclosure activity, and distressed sales are present in the exurbs. Overall, the submarket typically consists of middle to higher income households with children and a relatively high level of educational attainment.

Submarket 3 41.8% of Downtown Area

Higher density urban, high income, young, high home prices and rents

The majority of submarket 3 falls within the boundaries of Chicago, as well as parts of Oak Park and Evanston and can generally be characterized as a strong urban market. High and growing incomes generally mitigate high and increasing home prices and rents, resulting in lower levels of cost burden. Submarket 3 has the lowest transportation costs of any submarket. The housing stock can be characterized as high density urban, primarily consisting of older homes. While many residents of this submarket rent, only in submarket 3 did the share of households renting decline. Lower levels of subsidized housing are found in this submarket. Submarket 3 has a very active housing market with high levels of mortgage activity, turnover, and low vacancy. There are low levels of foreclosure activity and cash sales. The households in this submarket are younger, middle and higher income, with high levels of educational attainment. Smaller households, often 1-person, with few children fit the submarket’s high-density design. Submarket 3 was the only submarket to see an increase in median household income.

Submarket 6 4.6% of Downtown Area

High cost suburban housing stock, low density, high income, aging

Submarket 6 is the most affluent submarket in the region. Despite high home prices and rents, housing cost burden is low due to high incomes. This submarket shares the trait of high transportation costs with other suburban submarkets. The housing stock can be characterized as mostly single-family homes with a mix of both older and newer housing. This largely owner-occupied submarket includes low levels of subsidized housing. Low foreclosure and vacancy levels and a high mortgage activity level have generated a strong housing market. The submarket is composed of mostly highly educated households, with a high share of 2 to 4 person households, moderate levels of children, and the highest increase in people age 60 and over.

Submarket 2 2.0% of Downtown Area

Higher density urban and suburban, large households, high foreclosure/moderate vacancy, low/moderate income

Submarket 2 consists of urban and suburban homes built before 1940 in parts of Chicago, Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, and Waukegan. Declining incomes likely influence the high and increasing levels of cost burden. Low transportation costs moderate concerns about high levels of cost burden. Many households rent, but comparatively fewer live in subsidized units than in submarket 1. The submarket has higher levels of foreclosure activity, but moderate levels of vacancy. Mortgage investment is low but cash sales are high, which when combined with the high foreclosure rates and low vacancy rates, points to the transitioning of homes from owners to renters. The larger households in submarket 2 frequently have children under the age of 15.

What are submarkets?

There are eight submarkets, or clusters of similar housing issues and neighborhood characteristics scattered throughout Chicagoland. Submarkets are not contiguous. The "cluster" information is from the Regional Housing Solutions and is based on data from the American Community Survey, collected in 2009-2013, and is a collaboration among CMAP, Institute for Housing Studies, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and Metropolitan Planning Council.


Chicago-owned properties

Showing City of Chicago city-owned land inventory in the Downtown Area

Chicago-owned land found here or nearby

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CCLBA properties

Showing Cook County Land Bank Authority properties in the Downtown Area

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Property Sales (PTAX)

Showing property sales & purchases in the Downtown Area in 2016-2020 Q1 - view all transactions

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Affordable housing in Chicago

Affordable housing developments in the Downtown Area

Affordable housing developments found here or nearby

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Airbnb housing in Chicago approximated

Approximated Airbnb housing in the Downtown Area

Airbnb housing found here or nearby (approximated)

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High property tax increases

Residential properties with property tax increase 2017 to 2018 ≥25% in the Downtown Area

Residential properties with high property tax increases found here or nearby

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Businesses Map & Spreadsheet Chicago business licenses since 2001

Showing a sample of active business licenses in the Downtown Area

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Proposed Projects useful for generating leads

Showing a sample of Chicago ordinances and zoning changes in the Downtown Area

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Showing a sample of Chicago ordinances and zoning changes in the Downtown Area

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Public investments TIF-funded Projects

Showing a sample of TIF-funded projects in the Downtown Area

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Other Data

Historic Resources Survey 1995 survey - orange & red-rated only

Showing a sample of historic resources in the Downtown Area

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Storage tanks

Known underground and aboveground storage tanks

Storage tanks found nearby

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311 Reports

Showing a sample of 311 reports in the Downtown Area for Basement Flooding and Vacant Buildings

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Incentives Checker

Opportunity Zones

Showing Opportunity Zones in the Downtown Area - view other maps: all Opportunity Zones, Chicago, Cook County

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Custom Place map source: Various sources
Municipal Code of Chicago

The zoning map colorway comes from Second City Zoning.

See all of Chicago Cityscape's sources