From heavy industry to modern living, The Fulton River District has gone through a stunning transformation in the last 20 years.
Residents enjoy innovative housing (including converted industrial lofts) on quiet streets steps from top restaurants and entertainment. Located in the heart of the city, many homes offer truly spectacular views. Right across the Chicago River from downtown, Loop offices and Chicago attractions are within walking distance.
For work or play, getting around Chicago is a breeze! The area offers the “L”(Green, Pink, and Blue lines), Kennedy Expressway, and Metra trains to the suburbs from the nearby Ogilvie Transportation Center.
Fulton River District Neighborhood Guide
Located in the heart of Chicago, Fulton River District puts residents close to all of Chicago’s excitement and attractions. With great restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, however, one doesn’t need to leave the neighborhood for a good time. Almost every day a new business pops up, adding to an already vibrant community.
Taste Something New?
The neighborhood’s selection of restaurants may be small, but the offerings are worth your time. Some favorite spots include Trattoria Isabella, for a modern take on Italian cuisine, and Jefferson Street Pub and Grille, for a delicious handmade burger. Blackbird earned a Michelin-star for its innovative cuisine. After dark, the area becomes an acclaimed nightlife destination with top nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and pool halls.
Unlike most neighborhoods, Fulton River District’s foodie bonafides extend past its award-winning restaurant scene. The area is a home-cooking paradise with access to farm-fresh foods and artisan specialties at the Fulton Market. You’ve also got to check out the Blomer Store for fresh local chocolate. Rounding out the grocery options is a large Jewel store.
In a Shopping Mood?
Great local boutiques are a major draw here. Favorites include the Maria Pinto Boutique, known for its work with Michelle Obama, and Primitive, a warehouse converted into a unique retail space. Looking for more options? The Loop and the “Mag Mile” are two of Chicago’s famous shopping destinations.
With easy access to public transportation and a great central location, residents can enjoy all facets of Chicago’s acclaimed cultural scene.
Just to the southeast, the Loop isn’t just home to business; it’s also a cultural hub. It’s a theater hotspot with over a dozen theaters ranging from small experimental companies to Broadway. The area is a music and dance epicenter, with the Lyric Opera, Joffrey Ballet, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Many great festivals are hosted in the area, including classics like Lollapalooza, The Taste of Chicago, and the Air and Water Show.
One of the few downsides to the area is the lack of green space. That said, residents enjoy biking to the lake and, for families, Millenium Park and Grant Park are only a few blocks away. Many buildings come with their own recreational facilities and several gyms dot the area. And, of course, given the area, a simple walk around the city is always an attractive option.
Fulton River District History
In Chicago’s earliest days, the neighborhood’s location on the Chicago River made its attractive for early settlers. Just across the river from the Loop, what is now the Fulton River District was a natural location for an industrial and railroad depot. In fact, many of the first railways to reach Chicago terminated in the neighborhood.
Throughout the years, enterprises located in the area included Sears’ first mail-order warehouse, lumber and grain warehouses. Randolph Street was the center of wholesale produce distribution in all of Chicago. As a center of industry, Fulton River District became a focal point of 19th-century labor clashes. The “Haymarket Affair” (May 4, 1886) was a turning point in the attempt to secure an eight-hour work-day in the United States. Today, a statue marks the site of the confrontation.
A Modern Transformation:
In the 1990s, the area was transitioning out of industry. The area even became a center of rave culture as many clubs opened in abandoned warehouses. The area became increasingly residential in the early 2000s. In rapid succession, warehouses and former industrial buildings were converted into lofts and apartments. The rate of growth was extraordinary. Between 2000 and 2010, the population grew an incredible 1000% and dozens of new residential developments were built.
Today, Fulton River District is a modern playground for an educated, affluent population. A tech hotspot, businesses including Google, Uber, and Boeing have brought excitement and innovation.
Fulton River District Homes
For renters and buyers, the Fulton River District offers a fresh Chicago option. The housing stock is typified by high-rise and mid-rise studios, condos and loft spaces. Some pricier options include single-family homes, greystones, and penthouse units. Given the swift transformation of the area, most units offer fine finishes, hardwood flooring throughout, granite kitchen countertops, and top-of-the-line appliances. Many units offer views of the Chicago River and the Chicago Skyline.
Fulton River District has become one of Chicago’s most exciting residential areas. Only a major residential neighborhood for just over a decade, it’s quickly become a go-to for Chicago renters and buyers. Offering a distinctly modern Chicago experience, it’s no surprise that the Fulton River District continues to grow in popularity. Come see it for yourself!