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Added Feb 04 2013

I'm thinking of purchasing a home on Central Park just north of Diversey. Currently, I live near Kedzie and Fullerton. Does anyone know that area well? Most importantly, is it considered safe? Any insight is much appreciated.

  • LK

    I've heard that Diversey and Central Park is ground zero for gang activity. Have a friend one block west of that intersection who is leaving after years because she no longer feels safe.

  • Jena

    I'm on Kimball a couple blocks south of Diversey and I don't think I'd want to live near Central Park -- further west of Kimball gets a little dicey at times, I think. doesn't show much in the way of crimes, but there was someone found burned in a garbage can near there not long ago...

  • Matt B. 10 year Logan Square homeowner, dad

    I lived on Avers just south of Diversey for five years, and had no trouble. I think the perception is that it's dicier west of Central Park because the wave of gentrification hasn't hit there yet, but I'm not sure if that's statistically true. I now live on the "safe" (eastern) side of the neighborhood, and I've seen things over here that I never saw out west. I also have friends who live on Central Park south of Fullerton (across from the Brown Sack) and it seems mostly fine. I think long term it's going to be a good area.

  • Don't do it. I live one block over and am outta here as soon as my lease is up. Lots of hang activity, tagging, bar break ins in the general area lately.

  • Jon

    I live a block south of Diversey and a blk west of Central Park. We haven't had any problems here. That's not to say there aren't gangs and problems around the area. It can really vary block to block though. And even house to house. If you happen to have a bad neighbor, that can ruin your experience. I can't tell you for sure what you should do, but in general, houses in the area have been going fast. I am glad to be south of Diversey though.

  • Chicago Al Lifelong Chicagoan, documentarian, & time-traveler

    I own a building on Central Park and wright wood and in the 2 years I lived there never had a problem. I knew most of my neighbors and we all looked out for each other which is the key. I saw a lot of changes in the short time I lived there and feel that the expansion of Logan Square will continue to be a positive thing. A great hood to buy a house long term but there's gonna be some growing pains short term...

  • ht ...

    If you are looking longterm, it is a great area. You are buying at a savings compared to the "hot neighborhoods" of today. Let's not forget, the same question you pose today was being asked 5,10, 15 years ago about Milwaukee, Kedzie or Milwaukee and California...

    If you are aware of your surroundings, call 311 and 911 to report any incidents that need to be addressed, and you interact with your likeminded neighbors (not the 'hood rats, the actual people who care about their neighborhood and quality of life), you'll be fine. Remember, there is still a butt load of gang activity in wicker park/bucktown, Ukr Village.

    If priced right, jump all over it.

  • I live 2 blocks west of Central Park and 3 blocks south of Diversey. I agree that this area is probably a good long term investment. In the short term, it isn't where I'd choose to buy. My biggest objection is the lack of restaurant and bar options nearby. I frequently walk a mile to the Logan and Kedzie area for dinner or drinks.

    I walk home after dark by myself and the vast majority of the time it's fine. I did see two people attack another person right by my apartment a few months ago. On a few occasions, we have heard gun shots.

  • I live at Central Park and Palmer and feel very safe in this neighborhood. I used to live at Hamlin and Wrightwood and saw more violence/drug activity there, and come to think of it, I've never seen or heard anything in this location. I agree with what others are's going to take awhile to catch up with the rest of LS, but it is happening. My husband and I are thinking of purchasing here soon!

  • I grew up on George just west of Central Park across from the church. My folks are still there. I think that if you start heading west of that into the neighborhood it starts to get a little more dicey. The area in general has always been full of families. We used to play hide and seek around the church grounds. We actually had more issues with drunk men hanging out behind our garage at 8am but they are pretty harmless.

  • Thanks everyone for the input. After reading your posts and looking at the Avondale / Logan Square crime blog, I decided against the purchase. The amount of gang activity at that corner of Diversey is kind of incredible. I've lived in plenty of up and coming areas including Logan for 8 years, 3 years in Ukrainian Village and a few years in Brooklyn and I've never been aware of a level of violence similar to what takes place near there. Could be that I was never seeking it out before either. For those of you unaware, there have been several shootings, beatings and one case of a man getting his arm chopped off with an ax all on that corner since November. Yikes!

    I'll fully admit, I was hoping that the area would appear differently because I think it will change some in the coming years. I just don't know if I have the patience to wait it out.

  • We bought a place about a block from there (Drake and Schubert) a year and a half ago and I'd say we feel very safe. There are some sketchy houses in the area and it gets dicer on the commercial stretches of Diversey, but overall we've had zero issues in the 18 months we've been living there (with 2 small kids)

  • @Milana-

    The neighborhood is not at all as bad as it is portrayed on that blog.

    When I first moved to the neighborhood, I read that same blog everyday. The ax story is one of many reasons I don't anymore. I don't find that the calls put into the scanner are accurate first-hand accounts.

    That being said- if a man got his arm chopped off in an attack by another man, don't you think the news would have been all over it? That is the kind of stuff Chicago News Media goes crazy about. Every single news station would have had a truck at the scene. You would remember seeing it on the evening news or in the newspaper.

    But instead, there was nothing. No police tape. No news trucks. No crowds of concerned neighbors.

    Reading the comments on that particular post, someone says it was actually a work accident. That makes the most sense. Realistically, it's possible that the man's arm was not cut off at all, and the person calling 911 was in a state of shock and panic.

    But anyways- if you change your mind and decide to move here, Welcome. Please meet and talk to your neighbors. Get involved in the community. Attend your CAPS meetings. Join a block club or The Avondale Neighborhood Association. Hang out and garden on the weekends at the Monticello Community Garden. Attend the monthly Neighborhood Socials. And most importantly, call 311 and 911 to report any incidents.

  • I live on Central Park/Fullerton, but I'm an avid walker & regularly walk the length of Central Park from Milwaukee to Armitage. For what it's worth, I've found the neighborhood to be getting better and better over the past 7 years. Mostly, I just refuse to live my life in fear. If I am to be the victim of some random act of violence, so be it. I don't perceive that I'd be necessarily any "safer" in any other neighborhood.

    Visibility & caring about the neighborhood are the keys to improving the street for all.

  • All in all, I think what we view as safe is a matter of personal perspective. Some people would only feel safe in the suburbs or in rural areas and would be against anywhere in a large city. Given that I have chosen to live in an urban setting my entire life, I want to be certain I am comfortable with my area. I am also a single woman living alone and being concerned and cautious is only in my best interest.

    As for crimes that have taken place anywhere in Logan or Avondale, I went to several sources and checked them against one another before determining how I felt about that pocket of Avondale. And when it comes to what is actually covered on the 6:00 news, we all know what will make the headlines and what won't, but that's a discussion for another time.

    Thanks again for all of the insight! I'm thankful that I live amongst people who believe in and enjoy their community.

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