West Ridge: The Northside Neighborhood Apartment Investors Are Sleeping On

West Ridge is located on the far northeast side of Chicago, 11 miles from downtown. With Touhy Avenue to its north, the neighborhood spans from Ridge Boulevard to the east, Peterson Avenue to the south and the Chicago River to the west. Some people refer to the area as West Rogers Park.

This market is relatively quiet with only a dozen or so properties trading hands each year. In the past year, investment activity has picked up. Apartment properties experience high occupancy with long-term tenants and cash flow stronger than similar properties in other northside neighborhoods. In terms of real estate fundamentals, this neighborhood is well located to transportation, restaurants, recreation and education. 

Access to Transportation

Located west of Rogers Park, residents can easily commute downtown and to Evanston from the CTA Red Line Loyola or Morse stops or Metra Pacific North Line. CTA bus routes servicing the area include #155 (Devon), #49B (Western), and more. Residents also have easy access to major thoroughfares such as I-94, Highway 50 and Lake Shore Drive.

Restaurants, Recreations & Education

The area is known for its diverse cuisine including Little India located along Devon. Local favorites include Sabri Nihari, Tel-Aviv Kosher Bakery, Gogi and Ghareeb Nawaz Restaurant.

In the heart of West Ridge is Warren Park and Robert A. Black Golf Course. Warren Park features nearly 89 acres of recreation including baseball and soccer fields and basketball courts. In the winter, the park offers an ice skating rink. The Robert A. Black Golf Course features nine holes and is open to the public.

Numerous public and private educational institutions either call West Ridge home or are minutes away. West Ridge Elementary School is located at 6700 North Whipple. Decatur Classical School, which offers Kindergarten through 6th grade, is a selective enrollment CPS School located at 7030 N. Sacramento Avenue. Stone Scholastic Academy is a Magnet School located at 6239 N Leavitt St. Loyola University of Chicago is two miles to the east of the neighborhood. The University is an economic driver for the area with 11,919 undergraduate students. For the past three years, Loyola’s incoming freshman class continues to break the record for the school’s largest class.

Upside Potential

Cap rates are higher in West Ridge than other popular northside investment markets such as Lakeview and Lincoln Park. It’s rare for a  cap rate on the northside to be 7-9+ percent for stabilized products. West Ridge properties regularly trade for these high cap rates. The apartments experience little delinquency unlike other markets with similar cap rates in Chicago. While appreciation is slower than other northside neighborhoods, the buildings have strong cash flow with a long-term tenant base.

Current West Ridge investors are mostly long-term owners keeping their buildings apartment quality (Formica countertops, etc.). These owners are asking lower rents between $800-$900 per month for one-bedrooms with the intention of keeping occupancy at 100%. 

New investors have value-add potential as most of these buildings have not been truly gut renovated in decades. A renovated one-bedroom unit rents between $1,200-$1,300 per month and a renovated two-bedroom unit rents between $1,500-$1,600 per month.


If you are interested in learning more about our listings in West Ridge, please reach out.


Danny Logarakis