Chicago’s best Loop / New East Side apartments – boutique ambiance

Chicago’s Loop includes the area known as the New East Side, which in turn includes the Lakeshore East development. You’ll find all of your major apartment options in the Loop and New East Side on our at-a-glance list of downtown apartments.

Our goal is to help you find the apartment that best fits your needs. Renters simply have so many differing priorities – and budget constraints – that singling out an overall best building would be a pointless exercise. We’ll identify the Loop / New East Side buildings that rank highest on each of eighteen different criteria in three main groups:

Location. Views; Grocery shopping convenience; Public transit access; Close to parks, beaches; Proximity to the expressway grid; Walking distance to Loop; Most dining, nightlife nearby; retail shopping

Building features. Affordability; Building amenities; Boutique ambiance; Pet-friendliness

Apartment features. Apartment finishes; Private outdoor space; Studio / convertible floor plan; One-bedroom floor plan; Two-bedroom floor plan; Three-bedroom floor plan

There are certain renters – you know who you are – who want to come home to a high-rise that feels dignified without being stuffy, posh but not pushy about it and small enough that everyone can feel big. They want a building, in short, with a boutique personality and ambiance. And they want it to be in a location that’s unabashedly affluent.

You can begin your search for a boutique building by ruling out everything in the New East Side neighborhood, despite the fact that it’s the most affluent part of the Loop: the buildings are simply too large to have that private club feeling.

You probably won’t find an exact fit, but might find yourself choosing between the 190-unit MDA City Apartments and the 313-unit Randolph Tower, which began its life as the Steuben Club.

Chime in with a comment if you disagree with our selections.

You’ll find links to our objective, visually-rich apartment reviews of Loop / New East Side buildings, and links to near real-time availability checks for most of the buildings, at our downtown apartments at-a-glance list, and some tips and advice at our Guide to renting in Chicago’s Loop / New East Side.

We’ve also spotlighted the best apartments in River North, Streeterville, the South Loop and the West Loop / Near West neighborhoods.

Next topic: Pet-friendliness.

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