ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Is EnV Chicago’s worst new apartment tower?

by Joe Zekas on 4/9/12

I’ve recently updated our Near North at-a-glance apartment list and map with several new links to online availability checks, and added links to Yelp reviews that had been unavailable at the time the list was created.

EnV is the only new apartment tower to receive the lowest possible rating from all of its reviewers on Yelp.

Although there’s every reason to be cautious about the validity of Yelp reviews, the ones from EnV residents (and one person claiming to be a frequent visitor) appear credible. The complaints about the building and its management are highly specific and fact-based – and have elicited responses from management that seem to validate some of the specifics.

Some of the problems suggested in the Yelp reviews appear to be easily remediable while others – noise issues, skimpy closet space, slow elevators and awkward floor plans – aren’t susceptible to a quick fix. We wrote about the closet space at EnV nearly a year ago.

There’s a completely different take on the building in the single review at ApartmentRatings.com:

If you have not seen the building I would Recommend looking at the place and seeing For yourself the beautiful EnV of Chicago you Will not be let down!

It’s hard for me to imagine an actual renter who would write that, but anything is possible.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

David April 11, 2012 at 6:42 AM

It’s funny that the day after you posted this article, EnV got a 5-star review on Yelp from a QMH (Question Mark Head in Yelp-speak) account. It’s possible that it’s just a coincidence, but this is why I don’t trust Yelp. http://www.yelp.com/biz/env-chicago#hrid:sHNn1amDoJ-r8574ImdxJA

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Joe Zekas April 11, 2012 at 7:45 AM

David,

Thanks for noting this. Did you flag it at Yelp?

It also appears that Yelp has removed several of the negative reviews, and there’s no indication that they were filtered or in violation of Yelp’s terms of service.

The review reeks badly and appears to be a stupid, lame effort.

How stupid? First-time Yelper Kimberly S signs off at the bottom of the review as “Nancy and Denny Stephans (we’re 50+ and having such fun at ENV Chicago and in the city!)”

I’m inviting EnV to make Nancy and Denny available for an on-camera interview.

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David April 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

I just flagged it. It would be interesting if EnV was able to produce Nancy/Kimberly (most 50+ people I know can remember their own names) and her husband.

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Joe Zekas April 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Most 50+ people I know would never refer to themselves as 50+. Smells like a marketing ploy targeting a demographic.

Early this morning I left a voice mail for Elizabeth White at EnV inviting her to call me to comment on my suspicion that the latest review at Yelp is a plant. Haven’t heard back from her.

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nwzimmer April 12, 2012 at 7:21 PM

So yet another example of a place that tries to present itself as “luxury”, but is nowhere near it, in reality. Just shallow on-the-surface, fake luxury.

It’s just astounding that these places that ask upwards of $2100/month for a relatively small one-bedroom can’t deliver a better living experience where the tenants aren’t so completely unsatisfied…

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Joe Zekas April 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM

David,

Yelp has filtered out the positive review as suspicious.

And EnV still hasn’t responded to my voice mail.

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Pete April 19, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Places like EnV will be brought down to size when the apartment bubble pops in a couple of years.

Considering the ever-increasing rents and ever-increasing number of apartment developments throughout the country, its the condo bubble all over again.

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Unhappy Resident April 23, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I moved from beautiful Southern California to Chicago a half a year ago and I could deal with the weather if I had a living environment I wasn’t upset about every single day . I would never complain about closet space because no matter the size I could probably fill, that may be my problem .

But I am kept up all night due to loud noise , literally can have conversations through the walls and vents . That is the least of my problems though . There is a rancid smell that comes through the vents of my bathroom that the buildings only solution to is to keep my bathroom light off to prevent the fan from opening . Not only does it smell of marijuana, filth , but anything people are cooking . When I finally got a leasing manager to come experience it himself on a Sunday (when I got home from shopping and yes my light was off while out) he described the smell of my bedroom and bathroom as s*** water from the smell that comes through the vent .Absolutely disgusting !

Gets better … While on chemo (strict orders to be around no virus’ or illnesses) at 11 PM my bathroom overflowed sewer water into my bedroom . Left me walking in filth while severely sick and forced me to sleep at my boyfriends office. Since that specific incident I plunge the toilet every single day (not an exsaderatjon). I guess I could continue calling and filing work orders but for the past 5 months nothing had been fixed and cannot wait to get out of this place . I absolutely think it’s miserable and would not wish it upon anyone .(the door guys are the only okay part of the building)

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SheridanB April 24, 2013 at 4:36 PM

If it really is that bad, you need to contact the city post haste.

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