ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Flair Tower apartments, 222 W Erie St, River North

by Joe Zekas on 10/14/13

Flair Tower is a 26-story, 198-unit apartment tower at 222 W Erie St in River North. The property, which was completed in 2010, includes ground-level retail and a 185-car parking garage.

Flair Tower is named after its next-door neighbor Flair House and Flair Communications Agency. Flair Communication’s CEO, Lee Flaherty, founded the Chicago Marathon. There appeared to be no concern about associating the word “flair” with its heterographic homophone “flare,” a word that has unfortunate connotations in Chicago.

Flair Tower has received LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

McCaffery Interests was the developer, Antunovich Associates the architecture firm, and W.E. O’Neil the general contractor.

The apartments

Flair Tower has fifteen different convertible, 1-, 2- and a 3-bedroom floor plans. As of mid-October 2013 convertibles started at $1,627, 1-bedrooms at $1,765, 2-bedrooms at $2,755 and 3-bedrooms at $5,348.

Floor plans and near real-time availability information are accessible online.

The apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows, in-unit washers and dryers, and all except convertibles have walk-in closets. Kitchen finishes include granite countertops, a stainless steel appliance package with a gas range and porcelain tile flooring. Hardwood floors are available in some units, but most are carpeted.

Most of the units have balconies. Several of the penthouse-level units have private terraces and fireplaces.

Views. Flair Tower’s immediate neighbors are the El tracks and low- and mid-rise buildings, enabling good views in all directions.

Amenities, services, policies
Flair Tower has a landscaped terrace with an outdoor pool, fireplace, gas grills and “spa.”

Additional amenities include a fitness center, a resident lounge with a bar and fireplace, billiards room, business center and a complimentary coffee bar. Furnished guest suites are available for visitors.

There are 185 parking spaces in a 5-level on-site garage.

Flair Tower has on-site management and 24/7 door staff. The building is pet-friendly, subject to limits.

The location
Flair Tower has a strong River North location, close to many popular nightlife and dining venues, with good access to public and vehicular transportation, and within walking distance of the Loop, the Merchandise Mart and other employment centers.

Walk Score gives the location a Walker’s Paradise score of 94 and an overstated Rider’s Paradise transit score of 100. Properties with more convenient access to public transportation have been awarded lower transit scores.

Shopping. Your take on how convenient Flair Tower is for grocery and pharmacy shopping may turn on whether you commute via the Chicago Ave El stop.

A Walmart Express and Walgreens pharmacy are adjacent to the Chicago Ave stop.

There’s a Jewel supermarket, a half-mile east of Flair Tower and another with more convenient parking a mile southwest. The new Plum Market is about a mile north, and Whole Foods less than half a mile east.

Retail development in the immediate area is sparse, but the shops along Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile and The Shops at North Bridge, and State Street shops are only a few minutes away.

The River North Gallery District has dwindled in the economic downturn, but remains a vibrant art scene, and it’s within an easy walk of Flair Tower.

Dining, nightlife. River North’s seemingly inexhaustible dining, bar and nightlife options are within a short walk or cab ride of Flair Tower.

Flair Tower residents will be tempted to sample the offerings close to home, starting with Union, a sushi and barbeque bar that’s in the building. Trivia: the restaurant was picketed for using non-union labor when it was being built out.

Less than a block to the east you’ll find Hooters, Gino’s East, Ed Debevic’s and Wildfire

Just west of Flair Tower are Patron’s and Mixed Greens, in the space formerly occupied by Delicious, and the site of a new late-night dining concept from Mercadito Hospitality.

When you reach the corner of Erie and Orleans, a block west of Flair Tower, you’ll see Brunch, a breakfast destination, and Citizen, an after-work hangout.

If you head north from Flair Tower, when you reach the end of the block, you’ll see Nacional 27 and the Green Door Tavern to your left, and Graham Elliot to your right.

We haven’t even listed all of the dining and nightlife options within a block of Flair Tower, and there are so many within a few-block radius that it would be tedious to name them.

Parks, recreation. Flair Tower has poor park access. The closest park is the 3-acre Montgomery Ward Park. Ward Park is primarily a passive recreation area sloping down to the Chicago River, but it does have an excellent children’s playground and an adjacent dog park. The park hosts a number of Night out in the Parks events.

Transportation. Flair Tower has decent access to public transportation.

The Chicago Ave stop on the Brown and Purple lines is about a 4-minute walk from the building, and there’s a Starbucks adjacent to it.

CTA bus routes on Chicago Ave and Grand Ave provide frequent (although not always rapid) access to Streeterville and North Michigan Ave, and busses along Wells St and LaSalle Blvd connect to Loop and Near North destinations. Taxis regularly cruise the area.

A Zipcar location is nearby.

Access to the city’s expressway grid is excellent, via the nearby Ohio / Ontario off / on ramps to I-90/94.

The competition

Flair Tower’s most direct competitors include the nearby Kingsbury Plaza, Parc Huron, the recently-opened Hubbard Place and AMLI River North.

You’ll find additional tips and options at YoChicago’s Guide to renting in Chicago’s River North and our at-a-glance list of Near North apartments.

Flair Tower in the news

More recent items are listed first.

  • Top 10 most expensive apartment buildings
  • Flair Tower sells for $87 million
  • Retail space fills up at Flair Tower
  • Flair Tower secures LEED Silver certification
  • RREEF invests in planned River North tower
  • Share your take on Flair Tower

    If you’ve lived at or visited Flair Tower, 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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