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A blue-collar town located around several railroad tracks and 25 minutes from Chicago via I-290, Franklin Park stretches from the Des Plaines River in the east to County Line Road in the west, and from West Irving Park Road in the north to West Fullerton Avenue in the south. Chicago O’Hare International Airport sits just outside the town’s northwestern boundary. Franklin Park remains an attractive area because of its location and connection to Chicago – and better affordability than living in the city. Proximity to several manufacturing plants and other employers also makes this area an attractive option.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Franklin Park, IL is $634 for a studio, $729 for one bedroom, $962 for two bedrooms, and $830 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Franklin Park has increased by 1.2% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
123
$634
1 BR
398
$729
2 BR
545
$962
3 BR
0
$830
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

46 Walk Score® Car-Dependent
35 Transit Score® Some Transit
44 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

Many of the restaurants in Franklin Park serve Italian-inspired cuisine, but you can also find several Mexican-inspired establishments, restaurants serving burgers and deli sandwiches, and at least one Chinese restaurant. Although scattered throughout the town, many of these restaurants sit off of Grand Avenue.

Grand Stand Pizza, located off of Grand Avenue, features award-winning, authentic Chicago-style pizza. In 2005, this establishment was voted as the Best Thin Crust in Chicago by Fox News Chicago. Grand Stand Pizza uses fresh ingredients and serves other Italian favorites, such as stuffed shells and Italian beef sandwiches. Checking in via social media while dining at Grand Stand scores you a free Italian ice.

Smoked on Rose, located off of 25th Avenue, serves a unique combination of barbecue and Greek cuisine. A favorite dish is the roasted suckling pig, served alongside unique options such as octopus vinaigrette salad, saganaki and almond halvah.

Al & Joe's, an Italian deli, hugs Addison Ave. This established joint prepares authentic subs and other Italian delights. Loyal customers have an ongoing debate as to what the best sandwich on the menu is. The meatball and Italian submarine sandwiches both rank high on almost everyone's list. Al & Joe's provides catering services as well.

Mike O'Donnell's Irish Pub has karaoke and burger specials on Saturday nights. Open only on Fridays and Saturdays, this local bar has free parking across the street.

Underpass Restaurant & Lounge, located near the corner of Grand Avenue and Martens Street, has 12 craft beers on tap, live entertainment, a gaming room with video poker and slot machines, and daily food and drink specials, such as 50-cent jumbo wings on Sundays, $1 steak tacos on Tuesdays and $4 you-call-it mixed drinks on Wednesdays.

History

In 1816, the Treaty of St. Louis defined an Indian boundary line that crossed through the area. In the mid-19th century, the area now known as Franklin Park was settled by immigrant farmers of German decent. Then, in the 1870s, the Atlantic & Pacific railroad laid tracks and built a station in the town. At the end of the 19th century, a man named Lesser Franklin settled in the area and bought several pieces of land, calling it Franklin Park. He held events and gave free train rides to woo prospective home buyers to the area, and he provided free land to companies willing to build there. His efforts lead to incorporation of the town in 1982 and a population of just over 3,000 by 1940. In 1960, the town had over 18,000 residents. From 1923 to 2010, the town’s demographics shifted from mostly residents of European decent to nearly half of all residents being of Hispanic descent.

Notable people from the area include big sports names, such as Glen Grunwald, general manager of the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks; Mike Shanahan, NFL coach; and Ned Colletti, general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Franklin Park does not offer much of an arts scene and does not have any museums. However, Cernan Earth and Space Center sits in nearby River Grove and the Dominican University Performing Arts Center sits in nearby River Forest. Franklin Park hosts Railroad Daze each summer, which includes walk-on train displays, live music and vendor booths.

Transportation

The most common ways to get around Franklin Park include public transportation and driving. Franklin Park has two Metrarail commuter train stations: the Metra Milwaukee West station on Elgin and Metra North Central on Antioch. Four PACE bus routes also service the area; one at Forest Park and Rosemont, one at Grand Avenue, one at Mannheim and LaGrange Roads and one at River and York Roads. PACE also operates a carpool and vanpool program.

Franklin Park residents also have the option of booking a ride through Uber or calling a taxi. Franklin Park does not have an abundance of public parking lots, but residents can purchase overnight street parking passes or Metra parking passes. Overnight parking costs $1 per night or $20 per month, and Metra parking costs $25 per month.

I-294 runs through the west side of Franklin Park. I-294, I-190 and I-90 all meet just north of Franklin Park, while I-294, I-290 and I-88 all meet just south of the area, making all five highways easily accessible to the town’s residents.

Somewhat walkable from certain areas, the entire area spreads out across 5 miles, including several railroad tracks. No specific accommodations exist for bike riders, but you can find bike lockers by the Metra stations.

Cost

Cost of living in Franklin Park hovers at just over $50,000 a year, nearly 14 percent lower than the state average. The average listing price for a home hovers around $140,000. Many of the rentals in Franklin Park are single-family homes, which start at around $1,300 a month. This remains lower than nearby areas of Chicago, such as Oak Park, where the cost of living soars over $80,000 a year and rent for a one-bedroom apartment starts at $1,500 a month.

Shopping

A majority of Franklin Park's shops sit off of Grand Avenue. Shops in the area include thrift stores, pawn shops, drug stores, hardware stores and a few specialty stores. For entertainment and shopping in one package, turn to Midwest Magic. One of the largest magic shops in the area, you can always find an employee willing to share a trick or two. Regular inventory turnaround ensures that you find a new gem with every visit. Grocery stores that service the area include Rio Valley Market, a small Latin American market that sells mostly fresh produce and meat. Amish Farmers is a small market that sells organic produce, grass-fed meat and dairy, Himalayan salt and a few traditional Polish products.

Parks

Franklin Park has 17 parks, ranging from small neighborhood parks to larger parks with shelters, basketball courts and baseball fields. These parks are free to visit, but some facilities, such as the pool and ice arena, may require a fee for use. Most of the parks have at least one playground. None of the parks feature designated off-leash areas for dogs, but they may still welcome man’s best friend under certain conditions.

North Park hosts an annual 5K fun run or walk, as well as a special mini mile for kids under age 12. All runners who cross the finish line get a medal. North Park includes a sports arena, for indoor sporting events, practices and competitions.

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