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The Loop - Downtown Chicago

Chicago’s Loop is the city’s downtown center, bustling with business, financial and commercial activity. However, unlike the downtowns of most American cities, the Chicago Loop doesn’t empty out when the work day ends at 5:00 or 6:00 each day. At one point, the Loop was almost exclusively a place where people came to work, but in recent years it has been repopulated, and it is now one of the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago.

After Midtown Manhattan, the Loop is the second biggest downtown business district of any city in the country, and it features Chicago’s two tallest buildings – the Sears Tower and the Aon Center – and several other impressive and historic buildings. Technically speaking, the Loop is defined by the circular loop of elevated train tracks on which the CTA’s Green, Pink, Purple, and Brown lines run, however, most neighborhood maps consider the actual boundaries to be a bit larger, extending from the Kennedy Expressway to the lakefront and from Congress Parkway to the Chicago River.

At the time of the 2000 census, about 16,000 people lived in the loop, but that number is likely to have climbed dramatically in the past eight years. Since then, Forbes Magazine listed the Loop zip code of 60602 as the hottest residential zip code in the country because of the many luxury condos that have been built in the neighborhood in recent years. The increasing attraction is a result of a number of factors including the city’s efforts to beautify downtown Chicago and the growing realization of the convenience of living close to work, shopping and dining and nightlife attractions. Another benefit to living in the Loop is the easy access that residents have to Millennium and Grant parks (or Chicago’s “front yard,” as Grant Park is often referred), some of the most impressive urban parks in the world.

The central location is the most obvious reason that so many people are opting to move to the Loop, but the quality of the condo market also weighs heavily into the decision, and the Loop features some of the most impressive condos in Chicago. Some of the most prestigious addresses in the city are located here, such as the Metropolitan Tower and the Heritage at Millennium Park, both of which are located across the street from Millennium Park, and 55 E Monroe. In addition, there are several high-profile condo buildings that are currently under construction in the Loop, including the 89-floor mixed-use Waterview Tower on Wacker Drive, MoMo Residences, and the “Aqua” tower.

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