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CHICAGO-The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce is hosting a real estate symposium today to raise awareness of the near north neighborhood’s attributes in hopes of attracting new businesses. The forum includes a panel of local business owners and 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, and tours of available commercial properties. The event represents the culmination of the Chamber’s work with DePaul’s Kellstadt School of Marketing and PLACE Consulting to compile a study on the area.

“There are several things that make a neighborhood unique, and every neighborhood has its assets and competitive advantages and a story attached,” Kimberly Bares, president of PLACE Consulting, tells GlobeSt.com. “Lakeview East’s story is that they not only trend better than the city of Chicago, but they have a greater density of people, more singles, and more 18- to 44-year-olds.” Bares defined Lakeview East’s primary trade area as spanning from Halsted to Sheridan and Irving Park to Diversey.

PLACE’s study compared Lakeview East demographics and socioeconomic characteristics to that of other like neighborhoods, including Andersonville, Logan Square and Bucktown/Wicker Park. The market research showed that Lakeview is by far the densest of the communities, offering about twice as much density as the next closest neighborhood, Andersonville. Lakeview was also shown to have the highest numbers of household incomes above $100,000 per square mile, with nearly 6,700. The community that had the second to largest such number was Bucktown/Wicker Park with around 2,300, Bares says.

“There is inordinate spending power in the community,” Bares says. “The symposium is an opportunity to let people know the results of the work the Chamber has done, and for the alderman to give a clear signal that Lakeview East is open for business.”

Bares says her company’s research also showed that Lakeview East’s vacancy rate is low as compared to other neighborhoods, with some numbers showing an occupancy rate as high as 93% as recently as last month.

Bares says another unique feature of Lakeview East is the number of retailers who have opened their first location there and gone on to see success in expanding to multiple other stores across the city of Chicago. A good example of this trend, Bares says, is Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, which went on to open two other stores in Chicago and one in Los Angeles after launching its initial location on Broadway. “Lakeview East has done an incredible job of growing entrepreneurs,” she says.

The event is sponsored by Special Service Area #8 and underwritten by National City Bank, with support from the City of Chicago’s Department of Community Development, Chicagoland Entrepreneur Center, Chicago’s Progressive Talk, Lakeview Athletic Club, Ann Sather’s, and Argo Tea. Bares says her hope is that the panel and symposium help get the word out about the benefits to businesses of locating in Lakeview East.

“I think too often communities themselves don’t know how to communicate their message to the public,” she says. “This is a great first step for Lakeview East in going out and telling its story, because it’s really quite compelling.”

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