A leap year gives renters who are searching for Chicago apartments another day to extend their search. Make the most out of the extra day on the calendar by checking out some of these unique apartments. These places provide renters with a rare combination of historic buildings, prime locations, outstanding amenities and really cool stories.
Lincoln Park Studios for the Minimalist Renter
The minimalist lifestyle requires discipline and no small amount self-evaluation (do you really need three variations of the same sweater in your wardrobe?) but renters who want to reduce their footprint and embrace small-scale living should be checking out SoNu Digs. This apartment building exclusively offers studio apartment floor plans for renters. But the primary benefits of living in this location extend beyond the walls of the apartment -- the Clybourn Corridor is right outside the door. This shopping district is packed with retail, dining and entertainment options. There are two movie theaters within reach, a bowling alley, and there’s a massive REI located close by that's nestled on the bank of the North Branch Chicago River for the outdoor enthusiasts.
Converted Office Tower Becomes Luxury Apartments in the Loop
Millennium on LaSalle
Renters should pause every assumption about life in Loop apartments until they lay eyes upon the refurbished office building that’s now home to 216 rental apartments at The Millennium on LaSalle. This building’s location helps qualify it for this list of rare and unique places to call home among Chicago apartments. Not many residential buildings occupy this avenue of downtown Chicago, which is notable for its inclusion in a few Hollywood films and as the de facto HQ for the city’s financial industry. Renters at this converted office tower can reap the rewards of living so close to a primary engine of Chicago’s economy but life inside the building has its perks, too. The building has been painstakingly reimagined from the days when it was meeting the needs of office clientele to create a dynamic and highly amenitized apartment building. Multimedia rooms, including a music practice room with a recording studio, beckon creative tenants to flex their artistic muscles or just relax with friends. A rooftop lounge looks out over the Loop, providing a one-of-a-kind perspective on life in the big city.
A Landmark in the South Loop Gets a Refreshed Look
If renters had to describe their River City apartment in a sentence, what might they say? “Well, it kind of looks like a curvy, concrete silo with trapezoidal windows.” Or maybe they’d say, “Imagine a 1960s sci-fi film set...but with better furniture and fast wifi.” Whatever words they come up with, there’s no single box that architect Bertrand Goldberg’s River City project fits in. River City is retro while being futuristic; it was a pioneering condo project in the 1980s that looked forward (way ahead of its time as it turns out) to an era when Chicago would fully embrace life along its original highway, aka the Chicago River. After a successful deconversion from condos to rental units in 2019, a much-needed renovation completely refreshes this memorable landmark for a new generation of renters in the South Loop.
Live Your Best Life from River North Luxury Apartments
There are few buildings in Chicago that give off stronger staycation vibes than Niche 905. The leisure activities can really get dialed up to high gear in this building with its resort-level amenities. It’s also where three neighborhoods sort of converge, so the location is spot-on if renters have either business or pleasure pursuits in the Gold Coast, River North, or Old Town. Oh, and the views from every unit are downright stunning thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass windows that spotlight just how far out ahead of the pack this luxury apartment building was when it sprang up in the Near North Side. There isn’t much in the way of high-rise development happening to the east of Niche 905 (yet), so that translates into unspoiled skyline views for the near future.
Old Town Apartments with Unbeatable Location
The Oliver on LaSalle
This Old Town apartment building recently got a rehab and a rebranding on top of it, changing from The Flats on LaSalle to The Oliver. While residents will no doubt appreciate the refreshed look of the building’s interior, the location remains unchanged. And that’s a positive. Renters can walk out of these apartments and arrive at the CTA Red line station at Clark/Division in less than 5 minutes. The best of the Wells Street Corridor -- Old Town’s happening hub of restaurants, bars, shops and nightlife -- is just around the corner. The building’s set back from the street, so the first thing renters will see as they exit and enter The Oliver is a nicely manicured lawn instead of the sidewalk. And topping it off, there are few places with a better price for this location near all of Old Town’s must-see diversions and easy access to public transportation.
Artistic Minds Get Inspired at South Loop Apartments
777 South State
The South Loop is the home of Chicago’s Museum Campus, so there’s ample inspiration for the curious mind in this part of town. Being so close to the campuses of Columbia College Chicago and Roosevelt University, there’s a palpable verve and energy to this neighborhood as well. This South Loop apartment building has a special amenity that helps harnessing all that creativity in the air: an arts studio! Renters can avail themselves of the on-site studio and will find plenty of inspiring vistas through the large windows in 777 South State. It’s also a pet-friendly apartment building, so renters can take their dogs for a walk and bask in the visual interest all around them. Bold and bright murals cover the sides of buildings, public works of art are everywhere to be found, and then there are those world-famous museums in reach to layer on the creative influences.
Classic Hyde Park Apartments Let Renters Enjoy a Car-Free Lifestyle
5326 S Harper Apartments
These vintage apartments in Hyde Park are around the corner from the vibrant “downtown” Hyde Park, or 53rd Street’s retail corridor. What makes them unique? The fact that renters can get over 1,200 square feet of living space for less than $1,700 per month. And they can walk to the aforementioned shopping district, so there’s a tinge of hope for the car-free renters out there. Other notable destinations in walking distance include the University of Chicago campus and Promontory Point, a favorite gathering spot among Hyde Park locals during the summer months.