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Leaving a Popular Chicago Neighborhood For More Space

  • December 9, 2011

by Erin Calandriello

Main corridor of Andersonville

Parents choosing to move from the city to the suburbs when their families expand is fairly common, but a more rare occurrence is a family jumping from a popular urban neighborhood to one that is up and coming to attain more space. But that is what Marina Makropoulos, a freelance photographer in Chicago, did when she moved from Andersonville to Albany Park after she gave birth last March to her daughter, Valentina.

Makropoulos, 31, said she enjoyed living in Andersonville, but when it came down to it, she was not ready to purchase a home, fork over more rent money for a bigger place or rent in the suburbs. Makropoulos enjoys city life and wanted to expose her daughter to it, so she decided to find a neighborhood that provided them with more space at about the same price they were paying in Andersonville.

“Andersonville was nice, but our apartment was small and cramped,” Makropoulos told UrbanTurf. The one-bedroom that Makropoulos, Valentina, and Valentina’s father lived in had no dishwasher, no in-unit laundry, and a sunroom that served as Valentina’s bedroom. The location of the unit, which rented for $1,200/month, was the main amenity as it was in the heart of Andersonville where they could walk to Jewel and Clark Street.

Horner Park in Albany Park

So Makropoulus decided to look in Albany Park, an area that many city dwellers might consider a less-desirable neighborhood than Andersonville. There she found a four-bedroom owned by a close friend that was available to rent. The renovated apartment has a new kitchen, in-unit laundry, a huge living room, a common backyard, and a two-car garage. Despite having about four times as much space as they did in Andersonville, their rent is about the same.

“Your life changes when a child enters it,” said Makropoulos. “To get what we have here (in Albany Park), we’d have to pay a lot more in Andersonville.”

Makropoulous would eventually like to buy a home, but right now, their savings is being used to take care of Valentina, and the extra space is well worth the change in location. The family-oriented Albany Park neighborhood is close to Horner Park, several restaurants, and Target, and the main difference, as far as their lifestyle goes, is that they have to drive more than they did in Andersonville. But for Makropoulos, the driving is worth the hassle.

“We’re a family and now living in a place which is appropriate for a family.”

This article originally published at


  1. Brendan said at 12:52 pm on Friday December 9, 2011:

    I find the assertion that Andersonville is not a family-friendly or family-appropriate neighborhood offensive.

    Andersonville is very much a family-friendly and family-appropriate neighborhood!

    Perhaps the difference Ms. Makropoulous failed to recognize is that family-housing in the neighborhood may not be quite as affordable for a younger less established family that is just starting out.

    An Analogy…

    Andersonville Couple A: owns a 2-door Fiat 500.

    Andersonville Couple B: owns a 2-door Honda Civic.

    Couple A: has a baby - keeps the Fiat 500, but buys a 4-door Scion xB to drive the baby around in the backseat.

    Couple B: has a baby - trades the 2-door Honda Civic in for a 4-door Honda Accord.

    Guess which couple represents Ms. Makropoulous’ family?

  1. CK said at 1:38 pm on Friday December 9, 2011:

    I do not think anyone mentioned in any way that Andersonville was not “family-friendly or family-appropriate” but you. Perhaps you should reread the article.

  1. TM said at 3:27 pm on Friday December 9, 2011:

    Agreed, no one said that…and the reason they moved from Andersonville to Albany Park was so they could get more space for their dollar, even though they loved Andersonville’s location.

  1. untitledreality said at 1:01 am on Saturday December 10, 2011:

    “I find the assertion that Andersonville is not a family-friendly or family-appropriate neighborhood offensive.”

    You’re an idiot.

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