While most Boomers are getting ready for retirement, the Lexington Square community in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood is experiencing a new baby boom all its own.
The community is a collection of 39 single-family row houses, ranging from 2,216 square feet to 2,507 square feet and priced from around $400,000, and its builder—Chicago-based Lexington Homes—seems to have hit on a niche market: families with young children.
"We have at least 15 families at our community, including nine newborns born since June, plus a few other expecting moms due very soon. We also have six other families with young children," said Jeff Benach, co-principal of Lexington Homes, in a press release about the community. "Many of our other home buyers are newlyweds, so we expect the baby boom to continue for some time."
Some of the success in striking the young-family vein can likely be attributed to the project’s location: It sits directly across the street from Donovan Park. And by staying within the city limits, younger couples that want to stay connected to urban life still have access to the amenities of Chicago.
But design likely played into the attraction as well as each unit comes with three bedrooms, with an additional family room that can easily be converted into another bedroom.
Fishing for young families wasn’t the original goal, says Regina Castle, the community’s sales manager. "It started as a West-Loop downtown alternative to condos for those looking to get more space," she says. But soon after sales started, some young families with children moved in, creating a gravitational pull for other young families. "We had friends telling other friends, who were telling their friends. We had people telling their church groups."
Soon, Castle says, "I realized we had two-thirds of the community expecting a baby!" In an effort to help residents and their new arrivals get together, Castle planned a fall cookout to help make introductions and allow residents to exchange email addresses. Since then, residents have started a parent support group and a babysitting swap, and some residents are sharing a nanny.
Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.