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Three TOD Hot Corridors That Aren't Downtown Or On Milwaukee Avenue

It's a hard and fast rule: Chicago's busiest TOD corridors are at the intersection of density and access to transportation. That combination has benefited River North, Fulton Market and the West Loop, and Milwaukee Avenue. But new submarkets outside the downtown core are primed to explode as Chicago's future TOD corridors. We tracked the construction activity following the "L" lines and highlighted three up-and-coming transit-oriented neighborhoods.

1. Uptown


Uptown's been stuck in development limbo for years, but CTA's $203M renovation of the Wilson Avenue "L" station is providing the foundation for future growth. The much-needed face-lift will bring the station into the 21st century, good news for the 2 million riders that pass through the turnstiles a year. In addition to Cedar Street, which is pioneering adaptive reuse in Uptown, firms like MX3 Architects are planning TODs adjacent to the station.

2. Lincoln Avenue


The Fullerton "L" station is one of the busiest in the system and saw a 2% increase in ridership last year. Additionally, the Lincoln Avenue bus will relaunch as a pilot program this fall, a response to complaints from residents and businesses after the route was killed five years ago. There's heavy construction around the station. DePaul is building a new music building at Fullerton, Lincoln and Halsted. McCaffery's redevelopment of the Children's Memorial Hospital site is underway. Red, Brown and Purple Line riders, meanwhile, have a bird's-eye view of the Elevate Lincoln Park apartment construction (pictured). But activity isn't solely centered in Lincoln Park. Mid-rise apartment buildings are sprouting up in Roscoe Village, North Center and even Lincoln Square.

3. Evanston


A suburb, you ask? Evanston's location on the city's northern border and the fact that both the Purple Line and Metra pass through downtown make it ideally suited to be a TOD corridor. Evanston's seven "L" stations saw a slight increase in ridership last year, with over 3.3 million riders. Metra's Union Pacific North line allows Evanstonians to reach downtown Chicago in under 30 minutes. Developers have taken notice. Fifield Cos successfully launched E2 (shown) and downtown Evanston's office market is showing signs of life after years of slumber. Downtown Evanston also has a growing nightlife district that may be unparalleled among suburbs.