Chicago’s best West Loop / Near West apartments – Boutique ambiance

We define Chicago’s “near west” neighborhoods to include the West Loop, Fulton River District and River West. You’ll find all of your major apartment options in these neighborhoods 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.

Our first posts in this series focused on location. We spotlighted the buildings with the best views, most convenient grocery shopping, and the best access to public transit, parks, the expressway grid, the Loop, dining and nightlife and retail shopping.

We turned our attention to aspects of the buildings themselves, starting with affordability and building amenities.

There are certain renters – you know who you are – who want to come home to a building 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.

The near west neighborhoods are affluent, but not unabashedly so. There’s more than a bit of grit around, and just enough of an edge to add interest. The neighborhoods’ vibe doesn’t jibe well with the notion of “boutique ambiance.”

Taking everything into account, and without much conviction, we’ll nominate Trio for top billing in this category. It has only 100 units and a sorta, kinda clubby atmosphere in the entrance lobby.

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

You’ll find links to our objective, visually-rich apartment reviews of near west 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 near west neighborhoods.

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

Next topic: Pet-friendliness.

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