Learn in the Loop
A vibrant, bustling urban core, the Loop boasts a number of competitive assets that make it a great place to go to school, including its diverse range of people, world-class attractions and accessible transit choices and travel connections.
The Learning Environment
- Approximately 58,025 college students attend 22 colleges and universities throughout the Loop.
- Recent development projects—including Roosevelt University's 32-story vertical campus, John Marshall Law School's student commons and entrance, and forthcoming student residence conversions on Jackson—indicate an expansion of higher education in the Loop.
- On the outskirts of the Loop, the newly opened Jones College Prep High School building and ongoing GEMS World Academy construction represent major investments in schools for families.
- A strong mix of businesses, including government offices as well as legal, financial and creative companies makes for a uniquely dynamic job market in a still-recovering economy.
- A shared commitment to campus and student safety and active collaboration among security professionals and local and federal law enforcement agencies ensures that education remains the top priority.
- Millions of visitors from around the world travel to the Loop annually to enjoy its many attractions—Millennium and Grant parks, the city’s architectural heritage, museums, theater, and arts and culture.
- A distinctive energy and vibrancy of more than 300,000 daily Loop workers creates a dynamic, interactive and engaging weekday environment.
- The Loop is bolstered by strong downtown residential growth over the last ten years, with professionals, families and students moving to the Loop for its convenience and accessibility.
- A highly-concentrated population of college students fosters a vibrant and creative environment. From the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to Robert Morris University, every kind of scholarly pursuit is represented here.
- The Loop is centrally located within Chicago, placing all the amenities of the neighborhoods and suburbs well within reach.
- All CTA train lines and nearly three dozen bus routes feed directly into the Loop.
- Located on the edge of the Loop, Union, Ogilvie and Millennium Stations are serviced daily by regional and national passenger trains.
- O'Hare and Midway International Airports are each less than 45 minutes away by train or car, and connect passengers to major national and international cities with daily direct flights.
- A new bus rapid transit route running east-west along Washington and Madison will join the Loop with other thriving neighborhoods.
- An emphasis on bike amenities, such as protected bike lanes and Divvy bikeshare, provides alternative transportation options for people.
- I-90/94, the Eisenhower Expressway and Lake Shore Drive converge on the Loop from the east and west.
- The Chicago Pedway—a useful amenity connecting Loop office, shopping, hotels and train stations via indoor and underground walkways—protects pedestrians from the elements.
- The Chicago Cultural Plan 2012 imagines new opportunities for arts and cultural growth for the city, placing an emphasis on job creation, enhanced property values and growth in tourism.
- Millennium Park and the future Maggie Daley Park provide dynamic, sustainable and multi-functional public spaces that will serve the Chicago community.
- Grant Park, the lakefront and the 18-mile Lakefront Trail serve runners, bikers and walkers from throughout the Loop with recreation, leisure and alternative transportation options.
- Harold Washington Library and Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower attract a combined 3 million visitors each year, anchoring tourism to the area.
- Chicago’s Theatre District is home to multiple world-class theaters and venues, including the Auditorium, Bank of America, Cadillac Palace, Chicago, Gene Siskel Film Center, Goodman, Harris and Oriental theatres.
- The Art Institute of Chicago, a world-class museum and “label of Chicago,” attracts roughly 1.5 million visitors annually.
- The Loop holds the position as the capitol of architectural tourism, with strong supportive programming and Chicago Architecture Foundation tour attendance exceeding 250,000 people annually
- Highly successful Chicago Loop Alliance programming and regional events like Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and the Chicago Marathon attract millions each year.
The Retail and Restaurant Environment
- The Loop is home to a strong retail market, anchored by the flagship Macy’s on State Street, CityTarget and Block Thirty Seven.
- Retail is active along LaSalle Street and on historic Jewelers Row, located on Wabash Avenue between Washington and Monroe Streets.
- A diverse mix of Loop restaurants—ranging in cuisine and type, from fast casual to formal—feed multiple audiences.
- Emerging nightlife options are giving Loop audiences reasons to linger longer.
- The West Loop area—situated on the edge of the central business district—is becoming a strong mixed-use neighborhood, with retail and restaurant offerings.