The major attractions of the South Loop are its proximity to the Loop and to the lakefront parks. It’s also relatively affordable, compared to the near-north neighborhoods and closer-in Loop locations. There are fewer than a dozen major apartment complexes (and only a handful of smaller ones) in the South Loop, which we’ve listed in order of their proximity to the heart of the Loop.
Renting a home or apartment in Chicago’s South Loop
South Loop boundaries
The South Loop spans the area from Jackson Blvd (300 S) south to the Stevenson Expressway, and from Lake Michigan west to the Chicago River. You’ll often see references to South Loop sub-neighborhoods – Burnham Park, Central Station, Chinatown, Dearborn Park I / II, Museum Park, Prairie District, Printers Row – most of which take their name from major recent developments.
If you’re looking to pay less than $1,000 for a studio apartment, or much less than $2,000 for a 2-bedroom – the South Loop is probably not for you. If you’re looking for a vintage apartment in a smaller building, the South Loop is definitely not for you. Single-family homes and townhomes are rarely available for rent in this area. If you’re looking for a 3-bedroom, you have very few options, unless you rent in a condo or townhome building. If you know you want to live in a large apartment complex, you can compare all of them in our South Loop apartments at-a-glance grid.
Why the South Loop?
The major attractions of the South Loop are its proximity to the Loop and to the lakefront parks. It’s also relatively affordable, compared to the near-north neighborhoods and closer-in Loop locations. Some tout the Museum Campus (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium) as major attractions but, honestly, how often are you likely to visit these draws?
The South Loop’s racial diversity is a draw for many. It boasts the highest percentage of African-Americans and Asians of any of the downtown neighborhoods. Chinatown is tucked away in the southwest corner of the South Loop.
A renter’s market
The South Loop is very much a renter’s market today, due to the recent opening of several major rental projects, and a booming market in condo rentals resulting from a building boom during the past half-dozen years, A number of the major projects are offering rent concessions in the form of one to several months’ free rent, free parking, reduced security deposits and more. The rents quoted below for apartment complexes do not necessarily reflect current incentives. Check with any building you’re interested in for the latest offers.
The great majority of the housing stock in the South Loop is found in high-rise apartments and condos. Single-family homes and townhomes are rarely available for rent. Two- to 6-flat and other smaller buildings are virtually non-existent. There’s a wide selection of lofts, but most of them are condo.
In addition to traditional rentals, the South Loop also hosts a number of student and senior housing projects, and a variety of hotels. Other short-term rentals can be found in several high-rise buildings.
South Loop alternatives
How to shop for South Loop apartments
Craigslist as a source has been destroyed by 1,000s of repetitive ads placed by apartment rental services touting the same few projects.
If you want to rent in a large apartment complex you can easily narrow your options to the few that best meet your needs using this guide. Condos, homes, townhomes. If you want to rent in a condo building, or rent a home or townhome, the local Multiple Listing Service is your best source.