The “Urbanization of the Suburbs” Hits Chicagoland With Floral Avenue

Floral Avenue, a new-home community that is ushering in a movement of urban-scale housing in American suburbs, has reached an important milestone, welcoming its first homeowners. The community, which is located in Skokie, Ill., about 10 miles north of downtown Chicago, features 20 custom-tailored single-family homes ranging in price from $495,000 to $850,000.

According to Floral Avenue developer John McLinden, president of Skokie, IL based StreetScape USA, the project represents a new breed of American housing that is emerging as a result of demand for more urban alternatives to traditional suburban home design.

“The ‘urbanization of the suburbs’ is a trend that highlights both demographic and lifestyle shifts in American culture,” said McLinden. “Cities are now outpacing the growth of suburbs for the first time in 90 years. But even in the suburbs, we have seen great demand for neighborhoods and homes that have many of the same characteristics of their city counterparts.”

Homes at Floral Avenue are located on 28-foot wide lots and feature a front porch to promote a neighborly lifestyle. Buyers work with Streetscape’s in-house design team to customize their home’s floor plan and finishes according to their individual lifestyle.

“We call it ‘How Do You Live?’” said McLinden. “We use state-of-the-art design tools to make customization easy, efficient and affordable. Our goal is to build homes that are as diverse as today’s homebuyers, while still creating a cohesive, aesthetically attractive neighborhood. The home is the ultimate consumer product, and we have organized our entire delivery approach around that important notion,” McLinden said.

According to Andrew Herrmann of @properties, the exclusive sales and marketing firm for Floral Avenue, the project’s first homeowners – a couple from the Evanston area – embraced this approach and expanded on the three-bedroom Aster model to include a play room off the kitchen for their daughter.

Another feature contributing to Floral Avenue’s city-home feel is its location on a tree-lined street within Skokie’s downtown. There are 18 restaurants, numerous shops, two grocery stores, a live theater, a nationally-recognized public library and a commuter rail line to downtown Chicago – all within walking distance. In fact, Floral Avenue has a Walk Score rating of 84 out of 100, unusually high for a suburban community McLinden noted.

“The fact that Walk Score ratings are now included on MLS Listings underscores how important walkability and proximity is to buyers,” he said.

AddedHerrmann, “The list of communities where you can buy a new home 15 minutes from downtown Chicago, with great schools and amenities, for around $500,000, is very, very short. The neighborhood is quickly taking shape, and the market has really taken notice.”

Floral Avenue’s first phase of 12 homes is sold out. A new phase will be released for sale on March 15th.

The sales center for Floral Avenue is located at 8149 Lincoln Avenue in Skokie and is open from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the development, visit or call (847) 867-1954.

About StreetScape USA:

StreetScape USA’s sole focus is building a new breed of American housing aligned with recent demographic shifts and people’s attitudes toward a better housing choice. StreetScape’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Washington Post, The Today Show, Fortune Magazine, WSJ Market Watch and The Chicago Tribune.

About @properties

@properties is the No. 1 independent residential brokerage firm in Illinois and one of the top 20 residential brokers in the U.S. @properties has more than 1,700 licensed brokers in 17 offices throughout downtown Chicago, surrounding suburbs and southwest Michigan. For more information, visit

Written by Kelly Maguire
Kelly is the corporate communications manager for @properties.