McKinley Park Pegged as Top Affordable Neighborhood in U.S., Most Desirable in Chicago

Published January 17, 2019

The real estate company Redfin has released its report on the most popular and desirable neighborhoods in the U.S., and Chicago's McKinley Park neighborhood has come out as No. 1 among "Hottest Affordable Neighborhoods" across the entire country. In addition, when Redfin listed its overall "Hottest Neighborhoods" by region, McKinley Park came out as the top neighborhood in Chicago.

Redfin determined its results for neighborhood reports using a combination of metrics on home sales from November 2018, plus data from its website usage and Realtor insights. It noted McKinley Park's 97.9 percent average ratio for sales hitting listing prices, and that 35.1 percent of homes here sold above list price.

The report also highlighted neighborhood amenities like the park and El stops, and said that McKinley Park's close proximity to downtown and adjacency to the hyper-trendy Pilsen neighborhood were factors in its appeal. The neighborhood's median home sales price of $270,000 is above the Chicago average of $230,000, but below Redfin's nationwide median of $294,000, the criteria it used to deem a neighborhood affordable.

Click here to read Redfin's Hottest Affordable Neighborhoods report

McKinley Park Advisory Council Preps 2019 Programs, Officer Elections

Capping the Monday, January 14, McKinley Park Advisory Council meeting with smiles, some of the attending members and officers include, from left, Nicholas Efronsis, Secretary Katie Flores, Treasurer Samantha Belcik, Julian Longoria and Gudelia Garcia.
Capping the Monday, January 14, McKinley Park Advisory Council meeting with smiles, some of the attending members and officers include, from left, Nicholas Efronsis, Secretary Katie Flores, Treasurer Samantha Belcik, Julian Longoria and Gudelia Garcia.
Published January 17, 2019

The McKinley Park Advisory Council announced a range of ways local residents can get involved in leading and supporting McKinley Park at the council meeting on Monday, January 14. Elections for council officers will take place at the McKinley Park Advisory Council meeting on Monday, March 11, and candidates are welcome to run for the council offices of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, said current council President Veronica O'Malley.

Another significant avenue for park engagement and leadership comes through the McKinley Park Community Steward volunteer opportunity, a formal Chicago Park District position that offers free training in park and species management, plus a leadership role in the new designated natural area on the east end of McKinley Park. "This would be very exciting for someone interested in ecology," said longtime council member Dayna Calderon.

Read more: McKinley Park Advisory Council Preps 2019 Programs, Officer Elections

Neighbors for Environmental Justice Hosts First Community Social

Attendees and Neighbors for Environmental Justice members get to know each other at the Winter Social on Saturday, January 12.
Attendees and Neighbors for Environmental Justice members get to know each other at the Winter Social on Saturday, January 12.
Published January 16, 2019

Falling snow couldn't keep dozens of local residents and members of Neighbors for Environmental Justice away from the group's first Winter Community Social, held on Saturday, January 12, at the McKinley Park branch of the Chicago Public Library. The local environmental advocacy and activism group welcomed all ages to its event featuring networking among attendees and exhibits on neighborhood air quality, Chicago's water quality and how environmental concerns cut across issues facing neighborhood residents.

A number of speakers shared their thoughts and expertise, including 12th Ward City Council candidate Pete DeMay and campaign staff members from 12th Ward City Council candidate José Rico: Both introduced their campaigns ahead of their planned participation in the 12th Ward Candidate Forum on Thursday, February 7. 

Read more: Neighbors for Environmental Justice Hosts First Community Social

Play Garden Profiled in Tour with Local Education Researcher

Published January 16, 2019

Local educator Jessica Fong received more recognition for her groundbreaking research on the benefit of outdoor play for children in a new writeup that also profiles the McKinley Community Play Garden, the beloved community space at 3518-28 S. Wolcott Ave., Chicago.

The article by Julia Mondschean on Free Spirit Media looks at both the facility and use of the play garden, as well as Fong's research into the disparity of access to natural play spaces across Chicago's social strata and geographic areas. The McKinley Park News has previously noted Fong's role in local nature play education in an article from this past fall.

Click here to read the Free Spirit Media article

Legendary Tres Leches Rise Again at Kristoffer's Cakes

Cristina and Carlos Chavarria stand with their son, Kristoffer, in the front of the namesake shop Kristoffer's Cakes, a new business in the McKinley Park neighborhood.
Cristina and Carlos Chavarria stand with their son, Kristoffer, in the front of the namesake shop Kristoffer's Cakes, a new business in the McKinley Park neighborhood.
Published January 15, 2019

Business Name: Kristoffer's Cakes
Address: 1735 W. 35th St.
Hours: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sun.
Website: KristoffersCakes.com

Kristoffer's Cakes offers coffee and sweets, including slices and whole tres leches cakes, from its charming storefront location on West 35th Street and South Hermitage Avenue in the McKinley Park neighborhood. Open to the public since November 24, 2018, Kristoffer's Cakes brings a renowned baker of Mexican delicacies and her family back to Chicago.

Read more: Legendary Tres Leches Rise Again at Kristoffer's Cakes