A first look inside Edgewater’s Flats No. 5411

Yesterday I walked through the common areas and an occupied apartment at Flats No. 5411, 5411 N Winthrop in Edgewater, at the invitation of one of the residents.

There’s a fitness room adjacent to the furnished lobby. The fitness room was comparable to what I’ve seen in similar-sized buildings.

The resident told me that the bike storage room promised months ago is still not available. The resident also reported that the building was without hot water for a month and other residents moved into the building without having been informed of that.

The vending machine adjacent to the knotty-pine paneled elevator dispenses Playboy condoms and überlube in addition to soda and snacks.

The resident’s apartment had a number of problems, including air seepage around a noisy through-the-wall heating and air conditioning unit, floor boards beginning to separate, a half-enclosed shower that leaks water onto the bathroom floor and poor sound insulation between units. Floors in the unit were off level, as they were in the common hallway. The resident’s take was that construction quality was shoddy and completed by inadequately-trained personnel who didn’t fully understand what needed to be done. Everything I saw led me to agree, and I wondered what problems might surface with warm, wet weather.

The apartment’s kitchen and bath finishes were reasonably attractive. Living and sleeping space was limited, but that’s part of the Flats approach. There was an in-unit washer / dryer, an uncommon feature in this type of building.

Flats is promising April 15 and May delivery for apartments in the currently unoccupied north half of the building. A truckload of drywall was being delivered to that part of the building while I was there, an indication that meeting the promised delivery dates will be challenging.

My overall take was that Flats No. 5411 would be a decent product if it had been executed better, but pricey for the amount of space and the neighborhood. Larger units can be found in buildings with more amenities for the same or less rent in more attractive neighborhoods – albeit lacking the in-unit washer / dryer.

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