$1,950 rent conundrum – an Aqua convertible or a 2-bedroom, 2-bath across the street

Here’s a good test of what you prioritize and value in your next apartment. Consider a convertible studio and a 2-bedroom, 2-bath in two different buildings in the same location at the identical rent.

Some will opt for far more space and an extra bath, some for the sexy architecture and the scene at a new mixed-use building. It will be an easy choice for some, an agonizing one for others. Prepare to choose.

The Park Millennium condo is a full-amenity luxury high-rise at, 225 N Columbus Dr on Chicago’s New East Side. When I began writing this post, 10 minutes ago, there were two 2-bedroom, 2-bath units available for rent, Units 2003 (floor plan above) and 3302, both renting for $1,950 a month. Unit 3302 is no longer available, but Unit 2003 has a similar but slightly larger floor plan.

Directly across the street at Aqua, 225 N Columbus Dr, virtually the same rent will get you a 681 square foot convertible studio. Unit 3808 rents for $1,992 a month. A $500 discount on the first month’s currently offered on the first month’s rent brings that down to $1,950 a month.

Be sure to consider utility costs and other fees, which are likely to be higher at Aqua.

Aqua has a more extensive amenities package, but it’s shared by condo residents and hotel guests as well as apartment renters, and it may not differ from Park Millennium’s in ways that matter to you.

Both buildings share the same location and have easy access to the public park at Lakeshore East, pictured above, and to the newly opened Mariano’s Fresh Market.

What’s your choice? Was it an easy one to make?


  • David 6 years

    Park Millennium is a much more attractive option to me. Both floor plans are great for their size, but Park Millennium’s 2br would allow me to split the rent and is much better for any sort of hosting. I’m surprised the rent is that low on the Park Millennium units, honestly.

  • Emkays 6 years

    I always wondered if some of these high profile or slightly unique buildings (i.e. curved balconies) are worth the cost. Or do they just generate more buzz by having something out of the ordinary.

    Joe, have you visited both? Which would you choose?

  • Emkays,

    I have visited both. They’re both great buildings. Whether they’re worth the cost will vary with individual judgment. A lot of people have obviously decided that the buildings are worth the cost.

    I wouldn’t choose either, simply because this wouldn’t be my preferred location.

  • Pete 6 years

    I toured Aqua when I was last looking for a rental and was rather disappointed. The amenities were out of this world, but for what they are charging for the apartments, I was expecting something more than cramped spaces and cheap finishes.