Look up Chicago's new ward map in Cityscape

Chicago City Council adopted a new ward map on May 16, 2022. The new map will be effective for the 2023 city council election. Find out which ward you'll be shifted to using Address Snapshot's Surrounding Places feature. 

Look up your address now in Chicago Cityscape to see your current and future wards. 

The 30-second video below demonstrates looking up an address and using the table of contents to jump down to Surrounding Places.

New map for members: Enterprise Zones

The location of Enterprise Zones has long been a part of our Incentives Checker: Every time you look up an address in Illinois, Incentives Checker will check if there's an overlapping Enterprise Zone. 

map of the top third of Illinois showing where the Enterprise Zones are.

Common to all EZs is the incentive to waive state sales tax (6.25%) on building materials for new and rehab construction. This can be a huge savings!

In conversation with one of our members last week about a new project they were trying to close soon, we asked if they had checked for incentives. Thinking that the location probably wasn't eligible for any due to the higher-value market activity there, I advised them to check because Enterprise Zones cover a very large proportion of Chicago and include areas with lower-cost as well as higher-cost properties. 

They checked, and indeed, the property is in an EZ. Based on the project cost this has the potential to save them tens of thousands just in state sales tax. This savings assumes that they source their construction materials from Illinois retailers.

We launched a new Enterprise Zones map to show all 102 EZs across Illinois and to better inform our members of the incentives. In Chicago, for example, the application process is simple and approved within a few weeks. 

The map is for members only. If you're not a member you'll be invited to start a free trial (no credit card needed).

The 2022 scavenger sale results are in

More people successfully bid on properties in 2022 than were even registered in 2019 Chicago Cityscape now has the results of the 2022 Scavenger Sale that the Cook County Treasurer conducted in February. The level of bidding activity far surpassed the last sale in 2019; three times more propertie...

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Chicago Cityscape's first lunch break update was 4/14/22

The recorded video is live

After creating 12 new features in 2022 Q1, we decided it would be good to walk through some of them in a live demonstration. Here's our agenda for the first "lunch break update" (new name is pending):

  1. 5 mins - Everyone introduces themselves
  2. 10 mins - Talk about the ARO 2021 and how the map is integrated in Cityscape.
  3. 20 mins - Demonstrate three of the 12 new features: ShareLink, Proposed TIF-funded projects, and Businesses Snapshot
  4. 10 mins - Highlight a case study from one of our members
  5. 10 mins - live Q&A

Thank you to those who attended! This was our first time doing a live, public demonstration and we loved the discussions. 

Watch the edited recording, which is 34 minutes long. Watch this video if you want to...(skip ahead to this timestamp to watch just that portion)

  • understand Chicago Cityscape's mission (2:09)
  • see how Chicago Cityscape helps developers understand a property's ARO requirements (3:15)
  • find property in specific ARO areas (8:44) (also, there was a mention about our draft "ARO Matrix", but that was not shown in the demonstration)
  • use the new "ShareLink" feature to share *your* level of access to non-members (like your friends or colleagues) (10:36)
  • know which types of businesses are concentrated in a given area (17:05)
  • compare the number of licensed businesses between two areas (21:35)
  • peruse upcoming infrastructure and construction projects that will be partially funded by TIF (23:10)
  • Question: How do you draw a Personal Place? (32:03)

12 features for spring 2022

Chicago Cityscape never stops upgrading. We’ve heard valuable feedback from our members and Data Equity Cohort participants about data and new solutions that needed to be added to the platform. This is the first regularly occurring quarterly newsletter about new Chicago Cityscape improvements — there’s something for everyone.

We’ll also be demonstrating these features in a live webinar on Thursday, April 14, called “Lunch Break Update with Chicago Cityscape”. RSVP is required in order to get the Zoom link.

1. Share your access to non-members (new)

Members of the Real Estate Pro and Enterprise tiers can share their access, temporarily, with colleagues and clients. ShareLink currently works on Address Snapshot and Place Snapshot only.

Screenshot showing the “ShareLink” for a Place Snapshot.

Members can copy the link and share it with anyone. Recipients will need to create a free Cityscape account and they’ll have 7 days of access starting when the link was copied by the Cityscape member.

How to use it: Go to any Address or Place Snapshot and look for the “Share a link” section below the names of either snapshot. Copy the link and share!

Read about the other 11 improvements

Landmarks maps revamped

Chicago Cityscape has revamped how to find landmarks. Previously, you could only find landmarks, landmark districts, and National Register of Historic Places if those overlapped the address or Place you were looking up. 

Now, Address Snapshot and Place Snapshot have dedicated sections for finding overlapping and nearby landmarks, landmark districts, and National Register of Historic Places. The Chicago Historic Resources Survey remains a separate section.

screenshot of a map and data table showing landmarks in South Lawndale

Watch the 90 second video below to learn about the new map and data table that combines all three landmark types into one.


Additionally, we've rewritten our "Determine the historic status of a building in Chicago" Knowledge Base article to instruct members on how to use the new landmarks maps and refer readers to the relevant regulations of a landmarked building or building in a landmark district.

New Property Finder feature: Show both types of government land at the same time

By request, one can now filter Property Finder to show property owned by the City of Chicago and property associated with the Cook County Land Bank Authority at the same time. Previously, Cityscape members could only show one or the other. 

Property Finder now also makes the distinction between property currently owned by the City of Chicago and property previously owned. 

The screenshot below also shows how the two filters have moved from "Special filters" to a new "Gov't owned land" group of filters.


Scavenger Sale Portal: Over 3,000 properties removed

Two quick updates: The Chicago Cityscape Scavenger Sale Portal now has 3,626 fewer properties, and properties are now sorted in the order they are auctioned. 

Reminder: There is no bidding on Monday, February 21, 2022, due to it being Presidents Day.

1. Of the 3,626 removed properties, 1,932 were already scheduled to be auctioned in the first week. That means that there are 1,694 properties that were going to be auctioned this week but will not. 

screenshot of the map and spreadsheet on our Portal


2. We're improving the Portal based on feedback and based on how people track properties during the auction. To help you make following the auction more efficient, we made several changes:

  • By default, only properties to be auctioned on the day you're looking at them and in the future are shown. You can filter for a specific date, or remove all date filters by changing the "Filter by bid date" dropdown menu. 
  • When you're signed in, you can view up to 5,000 properties at a time. This is enough to see an entire day's worth of scheduled properties. 
  • Properties are sorted by the order in which they will be auctioned (that is, by volume and then by PIN). Look for this sequence number in the "Day #" column. If you are looking at a view that includes multiple bid dates the day # will reset to 1 in the middle of your view. 
  • Exporting the data will also export the sequence number. This way you can print out a spreadsheet and keep it sorted properly and follow along with the auctioneer. 

Please keep sending us feedback to info@chicagocityscape! While it's too late to make any further improvements – because there are four bidding days left – we want to build a better Portal for the next Scavenger Sale in 2023.

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