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Loki117
Ill soon (fingers crossed) be moving from London to Chicago to live for a few years and so have been looking for an apartment. I can't help but notice that Chicago seems to have an abundance of what they advertise as luxury living but once I have a closer look at the photos you notice that the work tops in the kitchen are laminate and the furniture in the house is horrible! I'm looking to find something in the $3000 - $3500 PCM for a 2 bedroom ... is this not enough money? In London I live in a very modern apartment for about the same price. Is it possible that the insides of the apartments have been sacrificed for the sake of making it look good from the outside? Does anyone have any recommendations on places I should look overlooking the lake but with a modern interior?

Any help greatly appreciated!
editor
I think you've been looking in the wrong places. In the price range you mention, you should be able to very easily find something that suits your needs. But unlike many cities, there is no really good central resource for finding quality apartments in Chicago. I've done the apartment hunt twice in this city, and I think you and I are looking for similar features. The best thing for you to do when you come here is to get a corporate apartment (furnished, short-term stay at a place like Oakwood) and then take a few weeks to explore the areas you might want to live in. That's really the best way around here. Pick a few neighborhoods (Loop, Gold Coast, Near North, Lincoln Park are my recommendations) and investigate the buildings that interest you. There's no shortage of high quality apartments in your price range.
Loki117
Thankyou very much for the advice it sounds like a sound idea. I may indeed do that. Do you happen to know if the MDA flats are nice? http://www.mdacityapartments.com they only have virtual tours and artist impressions of the place. I will be looking to arrange viewing for my arrival and don't want to waste time.

Thanks again for the help!

Tom
editor
MDA was one of the places I looked at in my last move, but ended up going elsewhere. It's an old building being renovated into apartments. It used to be home to the Joffrey Ballet, and before that was built as a building for dentists. There is even an auditorium where the dentists could watch other dentists work and learn from them. That was long ago, though. I believe the auditorium was converted into a video theater for MDA. The main reasons I chose not to go with MDA was the fact that they were not able to keep their promises, and the prices were slightly higher than average for the area. By promises, I mean they promised to be completely renovated and ready by my target move-in date, which was June, 2005. I don't beleieve they were actually able to start accepting tenants until February, 2006. That's quite a lag. Let me lay it out this way:

Good points
- Excellent location within walking distance of pretty much everything you need to live, thrive, and survive.
- The lobby and common areas are really nice, and they plan to bring in a restaurant, though this is proving to be a challenge for a lot of buildings in that area with similar goals.
- New renovation, so there won't be any unexpected surprises from previous tenants.
- Public transportation is abundant. You won't need a car if you live at MDA.

Bad points
- The building is still very very much under construction. I walk past it twice a day and as far as I can tell only a few floors are occupied at this time.
- Noise: This building is right on the Orange, Green, Brown, Purple, and Pink elevated rail lines, and worse -- right where they make a 90-degree turn around a corner. My last building was on a similar corner, and even though we were on the 25th floor with supposedly "sound proof" windows, it was a problem. But you get used to it at night. Also, this building is half a block from Michigan Avenue, and the millions of tourists it attracts. And it's also on the main route that fire trucks and ambulances use to get around the Loop, so you'll have their sirens passing you many times a day.
- Utilities: This is one of the very very few buildings in the area that do not offer free heat and air conditioning. They claim it's part of their effort to be a "green" environmentally friendly building, by encouraging their residents to conserve. What it really means is money out of your pocket, and possibly quite a lot of money with energy prices these days. A building without free heat and air conditioning is almost unheard of in Chicago.
- Price: The rents are somewhat higher than other buildings in the area. I used to live just down the street, and had an apartment with everything included except lights. Even the local telephone service was included. MDA wanted more for the same amount of space, and nothing was included. Not even water. Very odd for Chicago. Of course, it's been a year since I inquired, so they may have come into line with the other buildings in the area.

If you want to live in that area, there are other options. Among them, Lakeshore East which is a rapidly developing neighborhood just a few blocks away. The Shoreham is the current rental building in Lakeshore East, but another one is under construction. Rents are reasonable. Management is very good, and the area is safe, clean, and quiet (except for the construction). Transportation can be a minor inconvenience. There is only one bus route that goes to the area, and walking to Michigan Avenue can be problematic, as there are entrenched homeless populations. They won't bother you, but they are messy and unpleasant. But there are plenty of people in The Shoreham who don't have cars, who simply hop of the #60 bus, which connects them to all of the subway lines, most of the other city bus routes, plus the Metra (regional rail) and Amtrak (national rail) stations within five minues.

When you come here, do take advantage of the Amtrak service. The Chicago area is unusual in the United States in that it offers very cheap rail service to about a dozen cities. Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Saint Louis, Memphis, Milwaukee, and I think even Minneapolis/Saint Paul can be reached for under $30. Most other parts of the nation are not so blessed.
Reaperducer
And don't overlook Streeterville. There's lots of apartment building there to choose from, and in many ways it's more convenient for living than in the Loop.

(streeterville is the area north of the Chicago river, south of Chicago Avenue, east of Michigan Avenue, west of Lake Michigan.)
New-Eastside_com
I would second the recommendation regarding the Shoreham, also throughout Lakeshore East and the other "New Eastside" buildings, there are rentals within the condo buildings.

Personally of the buildings I would recommend trying to get a rental in Harbor Point or the Parkshore, the Parkshore has a rooftop pool and deck with views in every direction from 64 floors and it's right on the Lake. I hear the Pool is heated and open year round :-).

Eric

http://www.new-eastside.com
Loki117
What about the streeter I know this isn't complete yet but I have narrowed it down to between that and Sky55 ill be working on north jackson so realy want to stay with a 15 - 20 minute walk of work. Again thanks for the replys this has been very helpful as I now know MDA is not the way to go! Also thanks very much for the rail tip I'll have to give it a look! I will be heading north as soon as the snow falls to get to the three lakes slopes is it far by car?
New-Eastside_com
QUOTE(Loki117 @ Jun 27 2006, 08:54 AM)
What about the streeter I know this isn't complete yet but I have narrowed it down to between that and Sky55 ill be working on north jackson so realy want to stay with a 15 - 20 minute walk of work. Again thanks for the replys this has been very helpful as I now know MDA is not the way to go! Also thanks very much for the rail tip I'll have to give it a look! I will be heading north as soon as the snow falls to get to the three lakes slopes is it far by car?
*



What is Sky55?

Also, Jackson runs east and west, what is north jackson?

Eric

http://www.new-eastside.com
Loki117
Sorry that should have been west Jackson blvd. Sky 55 can be found here http://www.sky55chicago.com I have seen 1 review on apartment ratings but as it isn't officialy opened yet I may wait to see a few more.
editor
QUOTE(Loki117 @ Jun 28 2006, 01:05 AM)
Sorry that should have been west Jackson blvd. Sky 55 can be found here http://www.sky55chicago.com I have seen 1 review on apartment ratings but as it isn't officialy opened yet I may wait to see a few more.
*


Sky55's web site only has "coming soon" for the location, so it's hard to say anything about it. From the picture on the site, it appears to be a new South Loop property on Michigan Avenue. You will have easy bus access to your job on Jackson. It will probably take 10 minutes or less each way.

The neighborhood is rapidly moving from old, nasty, industrial to modern, redeveloped, tinks. There are still a few dodgy places, but for the most part it is safe. It's probably the fastest growing neighborhood of Chicago these days. If you like the location, but end up not liking the building, there are probably a dozen or so new buildings in that area taking people. It's very competitive because so many units are going online at the same time, so you may be able to strike a hard bargain.
editor
QUOTE(New-Eastside_com @ Jun 27 2006, 08:49 AM)
I would second the recommendation regarding the Shoreham, also throughout Lakeshore East and the other "New Eastside" buildings, there are rentals within the condo buildings.

Personally of the buildings I would recommend trying to get a rental in Harbor Point or the Parkshore, the Parkshore has a rooftop pool and deck with views in every direction from 64 floors and it's right on the Lake. I hear the Pool is heated and open year round :-).

Eric
*


I didn't realize that Harbor Point and the Parkshore had rentals. I thought they were condo only. Are these straight rentals, or condo owners leasing out their places?

Since he'll be working on Jackson, anything in New Eastside would be ideal. On the #60 bus he could be at work in five minutes.
lovestar
Hey Loki, So did you ever land a place? If so, where did you end up? I am a newcomer to the forums, so just only saw your post tonight! Why not try the lovely South Loop? I reside here and luuuurve it!! biggrin.gif

p.s. Believe it or not, you can find good property listings on Craigslist.com. Always flooded with postings! Happy house hunting!
Loki117
QUOTE(lovestar @ Jul 8 2006, 06:15 AM)
Hey Loki, So did you ever land a place? If so, where did you end up? I am a newcomer to the forums, so just only saw your post tonight! Why not try the lovely South Loop? I reside here and luuuurve it!! biggrin.gif

p.s. Believe it or not, you can find good property listings on Craigslist.com. Always flooded with postings! Happy house hunting!
*



Hey lovestar as of yet i'm not out there! I'm still in sunny London awaiting some visa issues to get sorted out. THanks everyone one the advice and ill be over there in September / october I owe you all a drink!
mikevollp
Hi!

I know this thread is super old, and I'm a new user, but I know one person suggested Sky55 and I wanted to write with my own experience...

If you are looking for luxury apartments in Chicago, I would highly advise AGAINST Sky55.

Among many personal issues I have with the staff here, the following is a partial lists of complaints I have had to endure since May 2006. Granted, this is a new building and problems are bound to occur. I have made allowances for that. But still...

1. Water leaking from another unit crawled into my own, lifting the floor boards and popping out the paint in bubbles. Fortunately, the residence paid moving costs so I could transfer to another unit.

2. Communication is unbelievably poor. I still don't know who to pay my HVAC charge for, and just today was told I'd be responsible for paying 5 months worth of back payments! Not going to happen. I have written documentation saying not to worry about it until I receive my first bill... again, clear lack of follow through.

3. Some members of their staff do go out of their way to be kind. Others are genuinely unapproachable, rude, and (forgive my paranoia) talk about you behind your back.

4. The walls are thin. If you are looking for privacy or want to play your television loud, buyer beware.

5. Security and Maintenence are fairly good; however, directions are never followed. I would not trust them in my unit without supervision.

6. This building strictly enforces on time rent payments. Do NOT be more than 3 days late. I was one day late and owed over $150 in fee.

7. The amenities are wonderful. Still, I was told the use of the pool was imminent. The pool is still not open, and it won't be the rest of the year. It is also an outdoor pool so, if you're looking to swim year round, look elsewhere.

Other than that, it's a great place to live.


I also considered The Streeter, and if I was in a different position would consider moving their instead. Thankfully new projects are all over the South Loop, and by the time my lease is up I will be able to move to a more appropriate (and stress-free!) locale.

PS. I forgot to mention that due to the recent storms, water leaked (water is a recurring theme here, I think?) into my storage locker and destroyed my boxes and a $3000 instrument (yes, I know, probably shouldn't have been in the locker). Management refuses to do a thing about it (they did put a plastic bag over the top of it, God Bless them, and will be moving my belongings to another area) but monetary accountability is out of the question. They considered (rudely) I contact my insurance company. Again, no one takes responsibility. It's sad.
editor
Sorry to hear about your bad experience at Sky55. Interestingly, I've had similar or identical complaints at both buildings I've lived in in Chicago's Loop. Must be something about this town. I know a lot of the people in the management offices tend to go from one building to the next. I wonder if they bring their problems with them.

When I was over at Skyline Century of Progress (now under different management) at the corner of Lake and Wells a fire pipe exploded a few floors above me and flooded my place. No reimbursement from the management for anything destroyed. They only barely cared. Eventually I got them to replace the carpet, but they hired the cheapest company possible which did a horrible job.

It's a shame that there are so many great buildings in downtown Chicago that are taken care of by such incompetent people. I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about communication. Even in my new place, important things happen all the time and the residents don't know about it. New ammenities are added or removed and the only way to find out is through rumor.

While I have your ear, how's the view from 55?
Loki117
Well i'm still not over so please keep all the advice coming! I'm due now to move over in about 8 weeks time! I'll be over for a week in 2 weeks time to view apartments can hardly wait! I also found this website http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/art...&searchType=all which some people may find handy personaly I think its a bit dated.
mikevollp
QUOTE(editor @ Oct 4 2006, 07:44 PM)

While I have your ear, how's the view from 55?
*



The view is incredible, I have to admit.

I'm on a south facing view from the 36th floor. I see parts of Sears Tower, Soldier Field, and the lake. My cable guy was there yesterday and commented if he lived here he'd never want to leave the windows - Chicago is definitely a city like no other.
Loki117
Weird that this post still exists. Can anyone tell me how do I delete my account from here?
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