ChicagoDowntown / Loop

40 East Oak apartments, 40 E Oak St, Gold Coast

by Joe Zekas on 2/18/14

40 East Oak is a 20-story, 205-unit vintage high-rise at the southern edge of the Gold Coast.

The building was designed in the Beaux Arts style by Maurice L. Bein, a Russian-born architect, and completed in 1929. Bein designed scores of Chicago buildings while still in his 20s before turning to general contracting at the age of 33.

Oak Street shoppers will recognize the building from a distance by its canopied entrance.

Ground-level retail space in the building houses David Yurman and Mac Cosmetics.

The apartments

40 East Oak tower has a mix of studio, convertible and one-bedroom apartments. Floor plans are available online. In mid-February 2014 rents ranged from $1,125 to $1,375 for studios, $1,095 to $1,460 for convertibles and $1,365 to $1,590 for one-bedrooms. Rent includes heat, cooking gas, cable TV and Internet service.

The apartments were renovated some years ago but retain their vintage touches, including 9-foot ceilings, crown moldings, arches and paneled doors. Floors are carpeted.

Apartments typically have small kitchens with gas ranges. Some of the plans have a dining area adjacent to the kitchen.

Closet space is typically good, and a number of the closets have built-in shelving and drawers. The apartments have radiator heat and window air-conditioning units.

Views. Higher-floor apartments have decent views, but view corridors are constrained by the height of nearby buildings.

Amenities, services, policies

40 East Oak, typical of Gold Coast vintage buildings, has a limited suite of common-area amenities and no on-site parking.

The building has a rooftop deck, a fitness room, a laundry room and a bike storage area. A furnished guest suite is available to accommodate overnight guests.

The building has on-site management and maintenance, 24-hour door staff and package acceptance service. Cats are welcome; dogs aren’t.

The location

40 East Oak boasts a very attractive, steps-to-everything location on a pedestrian-friendly, boutique-laden street that’s one of the Midwest’s major retail destinations.

Shopping. Residents of 40 East Oak have convenient access to major grocery stores. Access to retail shops is as good as it gets.

Treasure Island, which bills itself as “America’s most European supermarket,” and Jewel Foods are a short walk northwest of the building.

Potash Markets and Whole Foods are a few blocks south of 40 East Oak.

CVS and Walgreens pharmacies are nearby.

Glamorous Oak Street boutiques are literally right outside the front door of 40 East Oak. Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile shops begin at the east end of the block, and Water Tower Place is a few minutes’ walk from the building.

Barney’s New York is at the west end of the block from 40 East Oak and Diesel and Urban Outfitters are a block south of Barney’s.

Dining, nightlife. Residents at 40 East Oak have abundant dining and nightlife options steps from the building in every direction.

One of the densest, most interesting restaurant and nightlife clusters in Chicago – what some call the Viagra Triangle – is a block north of 40 East Oak.

Locals just call it “the triangle,” after the shape of Mariano Park.

Just north of the triangle is the storied Division Street nightlife strip, home to Bootleggers, the legendary Butch McGuire’s and more than a dozen other establishments.

The Goddess and Grocer deli and Cru Kitchen & Bar are a short walk south of 40 East Oak.

Just east of the Goddess is tree-shrouded Connors Park, home to a new Argo Tea. Just beyond Argo is McCormick & Schmick’s on Chestnut.

You can’t walk far in any direction from the building without finding a Starbucks.

Parks, recreation. Residents at 40 East Oak have good access to a variety of parks and recreational activities.

Washington Square Park, a tranquil gem, is three short blocks southwest of 40 East Oak.

Oak Street Beach, with its spectacular views of the Lake Shore Drive skyline, is a block east.

The fabulous 1,200-acre Lincoln Park, home to the Zoo, Conservatory, North Avenue Beach and a host of playing fields and other attractions, is three-quarters of a mile north of the building.

Transportation. Public transportation from the location is excellent.

The building is almost equidistant from the CTA Red Line stop at Chicago Ave, a 7-minute walk south, and the Clark and Division stop, an 8-minute walk northwest.

A variety of CTA bus routes travel along State St and Michigan Ave, less than a block from the building.

East-west access to I-90/94 and the rest of the city’s expressway grid can be painfully slow during peak hours. If you’re southbound or headed for the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), Ontario St is a better option.

ZipCar car-sharing locations are nearby. Taxis swarm the area 24/7.

The competition

There’s a wide variety of vintage and contemporary rental buildings in the immediate area, and they’re all listed and linked at our at-a-glance list of Near North apartments.

Rentals are also typically available in a number of nearby condo buildings, sometimes at lower rents than in the managed apartment buildings.

You’ll find additional tips and apartment-hunting advice at YoChicago’s Guide to renting on Chicago’s Near North Side.

Share your take on 40 East Oak

If you’ve lived at or visited 40 East Oak recently, and are not a real estate agent, add your thoughts in a comment. Comments are moderated, and commercial messages are not allowed.

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