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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published Nov. 19, 2009                                                         

Downtown charm a draw for
future residents
Realtors say boutiques and beauty of business district
seal the deal for home buyers

 By Christine Cuthbert

   Many potential home buyers come to the western suburbs looking for good schools, train accessibility to downtown Chicago and a nice neighborhood. Many villages in the area offer these amenities, but local real estate agents say Hinsdale’s downtown business district seals the deal for many trying to decide where to call home.
   “What tips the scale is what the community has to offer,” said Tina Porterfield, an agent with Prudential Rubloff. “The downtown is definitely a drawing point.”
   Hinsdale is known as a walking-friendly village, something that appeals to many moving from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. Porterfield and other agents believe the beauty of the streetscapes combined with the vintage charm of the new and old buildings adds to the allure.
   “The layout and architecture is lovely,” Porterfield said. “It feels like a small town, not just like another suburban shopping center.”
   Potential clients always notice the charm of the downtown, said Courtney Stach, an agent with County Line Properties who grew up in Hinsdale
   “Downtown has changed with the times, but it still remains quaint and beautiful,” she said.
   The good mix of restaurants, boutiques and franchise stores create an extra level of resale ability for those weighing Hinsdale against neighboring communities.
   “Our downtown is established,” Stach said. “There is a security factor in knowing they’ll sell again.”
   Porterfield agreed.
   “The size of the business district helps,” she said. “There’s more variety and it has a little bit more to offer. Clarendon Hills has about the same stuff, it’s just on a smaller scale.”
   While downtown Hinsdale hardly has the nightlife or daytime foot traffic of the Gold Coast or Lincoln Park, Stach said many who come from the city feel comfortable here because the business district sits in the middle of town and is an easy destination for a stroll.
   “Some may feel like they’re relinquishing their city life,” she said. “They may not have the same thing, but they’re getting something like it. They can walk to town to shop or for a nice meal.”
   Realtor Carol Lee Cikanek, who has lived in Hinsdale since 1972, agrees that the unique mixture of shops and restaurants and gorgeous landscaping gives potential buyers a glimpse into a modern small town with hints of the past.
   “Hinsdale projects a nostalgic, neighborly lifestyle of a bygone era combining modest and premium estate properties,” she said.
   One thing she would like to see downtown is more entertainment.
   “Losing the theater was a shame,” she said. “Any venue for entertainment would probably be a wonderful addition to town. Even if it’s entertainment within our establishments that are already here. That would be attractive to visitors.”








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