Residence near Argonne National Laboratory
August 13, 2012 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Chicago Area Filter: International co-op student trying to find a 6-month housing lease near Argonne National Laboratory on the outskirts of Chicago. What areas around there should I search? Are there any I should avoid in my search?

I am an insanely lucky second year science student who found an international research assistantship at Argonne National Laboratory for 6 months starting in mid-September. I'm in the process of looking for somewhere to stay and was just wondering if anyone has any knowledge of the area around the laboratory. Are there suburbs I should avoid, or any I should focus on during my search?

I'm looking for somewhere hopefully suburban that's quiet and safe, preferably a 30-40 minute commute. I'm expecting to pay something on the order of $1000/mo, though anything less than that would be nice.

It's pretty difficult to gauge some of the listings I've found on Google maps and the like, but I'm planning to drive out in late August to check things out in person. It would definitely be nice to have an idea of where to look and where to stay clear of.

Many thanks in advance for advice you may have.
posted by TimeStove to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (8 answers total)
There is someone, probably multiple someones, whose job it is to help you out with things like this. I would start with ANL's Newcomer's Assistance Program website, go through that information, and then contact the people there. If you have been interacting with some sort of department admin staff, ask that person too. They may be willing to send emails out to the rest of the community.
posted by rockindata at 4:46 PM on August 13, 2012

From their hosing section:

The Newcomers Assistance Office compiles a listing of apartment complexes in the area comparing their price, location and amenities. We only include complexes that have a full time rental office. We also have a listing of homes that offer single rooms on a month by month basis. Contact our office to discuss possibilities.
posted by rockindata at 4:49 PM on August 13, 2012

housing, not hosing.
posted by rockindata at 4:50 PM on August 13, 2012

To clarify, it sounds you're planning on having a car and driving, right?

If so, your 30-40 minute commute window means you can live in Chicago proper - no need for the suburbs. From areas like Bridgeport or the South loop, you should be able to pretty consistently get to Argonne in that time.Just hop on 55 - it'll be a reverse commute, so traffic shouldn't be too bad. You'll be able to find places for $1k/month easy.
posted by kickingtheground at 4:50 PM on August 13, 2012

Pretty much anything in that area is fine, safety-wise. Probably no need to avoid anything around there if you stay between LaGrange Road and 355. If you have specific suburbs in mind, post them and we can tell you more.

Northbound, look at Willowbrook for cheapness. Try La Grange or Countryside to the east. Darien and Lemont might be out of your price range, although there are a few apartment complexes I know of in Darien that seem reasonably-priced, but don't have very good reputations in the community.

Is there any kind of specific type of area you're interested in? Argonne is pretty much in the middle of suburbia. If you plan to be working long hours, don't care about the lack of a vibrant city life, and you'd rather have a place close by you'll be fine out there, but if you're looking for a Chicago experience, look in the city as mentioned already.

Also, Argonne has a most awesome series of bike and hiking trails surrounding it. (Not for commuting - more of a communing-with-nature kind of thing.)
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:29 PM on August 13, 2012

Pretty much anywhere close to the Argonne laboratory will be quiet and suburban (and basically car-dependent, but it sounds like that isn't a problem for you.)

In terms of commute, if you are thinking about using expressways to commute, I'd use the Travel Midwest Stats website to help you gauge how long your commute will be. They have stats going back many years for all different segments in the Chicago region of average travel times at all times of day, by day of week, as well as live travel information. You'd most likely be looking up I-294, I-355 and/or the Stevenson (I-55).
posted by andrewesque at 1:42 PM on August 14, 2012

Thanks everyone for the advice so far!

I've found a couple of places in Willowbrook I'm going to check out. I'm probably going to settle for the suburban setting and avoid any sort of major commute. I would only really be doing things in Chicago maybe once a week, so it would make more sense to just do an occasional day trip.

I'll definitely talk to the Newcomer's Assistance Program as well. I wasn't aware they even existed.
posted by TimeStove at 1:33 PM on August 16, 2012

Check Waterfall Glen apartments for rent. It is right by Argonne, and seems cheap in my opinion. I think it is very nice.
posted by AdamG8GXP at 11:30 AM on August 30, 2012

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