Hyde Park rental prices reach new high

Staff Writer

As new development projects continue to roll through Hyde Park, some neighborhood tenants are experiencing skyrocketing rental prices.

J.L. Jordan III, a Hyde Park resident and realtor who has worked in the community for over six years, said that rental prices have surged over the past few years.

“In the last three to four years, I’ve seen a spike in rental prices in Hyde Park proper,” Jordan said. “It’s definitely a sizable increase, I’ve found that a lot of people are not able to re-sign their leases.”

According to the real estate website Zumper, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Hyde Park, in June 2016, was $1,225. That’s a 13.4 percent increase from last summer, when the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Hyde Park was $1,080, and a 26 percent increase from May 2014, when the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $975.

Vincent McGill is one of those tenants that have been priced out of his Hyde Park apartment.

In 2015, McGill left an apartment in the 900 block of East 51st Street after a two-year lease, throughout which the property owner, Mac Properties, continually raised the rent.

“They tried to charge you for anything they could,” McGill said.

Before he left the building, McGill was renting a one-bedroom apartment. He said that his rent increased by $50 a month within the first year and that by the second year, his rent had gone up another $100.

At the end of his two-year lease, McGill looked for other Hyde Park apartments, but could not find any matching his budget. He ended up relocating to Englewood.

“They are gentrifying Hyde Park, that’s what they are doing,” McGill said. “I’ve lived in Hyde Park for 15 years, but now I’m in Englewood and I’m happy to be there.”

Mac Properties declined to comment on the company’s average rental prices in Hyde Park and on how much leasing prices have increased in recent years.

Jordan attributes Hyde Park’s rising rental prices to business growth along 53rd Street and an influx of high-end dining options. He also said that Hyde Park has attracted a growing number of residents from the South Loop.

“A lot of the people I’ve placed in the South Loop area are now trying to acquire places in Hyde Park,” Jordan said. “For the amount of money for one bedroom in the South Loop, they can get two bedrooms in Hyde Park. It’s a further commute, but not that drastic of a difference.”

According to Jordan, many of the South Loop residents interested in moving to Hyde Park are looking at properties east of Hyde Park Boulevard.

“Lots of units close to the lakefront are being redone,” Jordan explained. “As landlords increase rental prices, people move-out, giving owners the opportunity to renovate units that haven’t been renovated in a long time.”

While the price of a one-bedroom apartment in Hyde Park remains significantly less than the city average, the neighborhood seems to be aligned with citywide trends.

According to Zumper, the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago, in June 2016, was $2,028. That shows a 14 percent increase from last summer’s citywide average of $1,780.