The building was designed by Daniel H. Burnham Jr and completed in 1927. It was originally known as the Medical and Dental Arts Building, thus the “MDA” in MDA City Apartments.
Village Green renovated the building in 2005 and converted it to apartments with ground-floor retail space. Hartshorne Plunkard was the architecture firm and Walsh Construction was the general contractor.
The building’s brick and limestone façade was restored and many of its terrazzo and marble corridors were preserved during the renovation. MDA City Apartments is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
MDA City Apartments offers 33 different studio, convertible, 1- and 2-bedroom floor plans ranging in size from 495 to 1,350 square feet. At the beginning of 2014 studios rented from $1,380 a month, convertibles from $1,480, one-bedrooms from $1,705 and two-bedroom / 2-baths from $2,445.
The apartments have functional layouts with little wasted space. All of the apartments have in-unit washer / dryers and good to excellent closet space. Bedrooms are typically on the small side.
Open-plan kitchens are all-electric and include black appliances, granite counter tops, granite islands, mosaic tile backsplashes, pantries, built-in microwaves and a variety of cabinet finishes.
Apartments have 10- to 12-foot high ceilings, large windows and a mix of hardwood and carpet flooring. A few of the units have recessed balconies or private patios.
Two-bedroom floor plans have either side-by-side bedrooms or the split-bedroom layout popular with roommates and people who work from home. Master baths in the 2-bedrooms have a stall shower. Several of the two-bedroom plans have separate dens. There’s also a one-bedroom plan with a separate den that some might treat as a bedroom.
Views. MDA City Apartments is almost surrounded by taller buildings and few of its apartments offer much in the way of views.
Amenities, services, policies
MDA City Apartments has a solid suite of amenities, except for a pool.
MDA City Apartments has a rooftop “Sky Club” and “Sky Park” sundeck.
The sundeck has a hot tub, seating areas and skyline views.
The rooftop also hosts a fitness room, a resident lounge and a theater room. The building has a business / conference center.
Furnished guest suites are available to accommodate visitors. Individual storage units are available, and the building has bicycle storage.
MDA City Apartments organizes a number of social events for residents. The building has on-site leasing, management staff and concierge staff. There’s no on-site parking, but spots are available at a number of adjacent lots and parking facilities.
Cats and dogs are accepted, subject to restrictions.
MDA City Apartments has a convenient location just steps from Michigan Ave.
There’s at-the-corner access to the Chicago Pedway. Many Loop and New East Side destinations can be reached via the Pedway without exposure to winter cold, spring rains or summer heat.
MDA City Apartments has a reputation as one of the “dorms” for the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. The building is about a 10-minute walk from the Gleacher Center, and a short block from a Metra stop that connects to Hyde Park in about 20 minutes.
Shopping. Residents at MDA City Apartments have reasonably convenient access to grocery shopping.
A 7-Eleven convenience store is around the corner from the building, and Bockwinkel’s is two short blocks away. The Mariano’s Fresh Market at Lakeshore East gets mostly rave reviews on Yelp. Target is four blocks southeast of the building.
The Shops at North Bridge, 50 stores and 20 restaurants anchored by Nordstrom, and Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile shops are a short walk north of the building. State Street shops, anchored by Macy’s, are within a few minutes’ walk of MDA City Apartments.
Dining, nightlife. A lot of the dining and nightlife options in the immediate area, as you’d expect, cater to hotel guests, office workers and tourists.
Cultural attractions. MDA City Apartments is near many of Chicago’s most popular cultural attractions.
The Loop’s theatre district begins a block west of MDA City Apartments.
Parks, recreation. MDA City Apartments has good access to public parks.
Millennium Park, one of the city’s main downtown attractions, is a block away from MDA City Apartments.
The Riverwalk, which is undergoing an expansion, is a few short blocks north of the building. There are a variety of dining and recreational opportunities along the river, and docks for seasonal tour boats.
Transportation. MDA City Apartments has outstandingly convenient access to public transportation.
CTA bus routes steps from the building connect to points east, west, north and south.
Trains from Metra’s Millennium Station, a block southeast of MDA City Apartments, reach the University of Chicago in about 20 minutes.
Some residents of MDA City Apartments may consider cabs the best form of public transportation, and service is available 24/7. Zipcar car-sharing locations are nearby.
MDA City Apartments has good proximity to Lake Shore Drive, but inconvenient access to I-90/94 and the city’s expressway grid.
Chicago Water Taxi offers seasonal commuter service between Michigan Avenue and Madison Street, affording MDA City Apartments residents a pleasant, low-cost way to reach the Loop and the Willis Tower.
MDA City Apartments competes directly with Randolph Tower and to some extent with all of the New East Side apartment towers: the recently-opened Coast, Aqua, Columbus Plaza, The Tides, The Shoreham and North Harbor Tower.
Rentals are typically available in a number of nearby condo buildings, sometimes at sharply lower rents than in the managed apartment buildings.
You’ll find additional tips and options at YoChicago’s Guide to renting in Chicago’s Loop / New East Side and our at-a-glance list of downtown apartments.
MDA City Apartments in the news
More recent items are listed first.
New York investor buys majority stake in MDA City Apartments Walsh sues over residential conversion Loft-style apartment in renovated complex
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