Axis apartments, 441 E Erie St, Streeterville

Axis, previously known as Onterie Center, is a 60-story, 615-unit full-amenity apartment tower at 441 E Erie St in Streeterville. The building’s former name was derived from the streets it fronts: Ontario and Erie.

Axis was completed in 1986. It’s visually distinguished by its diagonal cross-bracing, which was translated from the steel of the Hancock Center to concrete by Fazlur Khan, the structural engineering innovator responsible for both buildings. There’s a plaque in the building honoring Khan.

Bruce Graham of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) was the architect for the building.

The apartments

Axis has traditional apartments in the 60-story tower portion of the building and loft-style units, converted from space originally intended for offices in the 11-story Ontario side of the building. The unit mix includes studio, convertible, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. There are 28 individual floor plans.

Floor plans and near real-time rent and availability info can be accessed online

Some of the apartments have been renovated. Late in 2013 a source told Crain’s that the building was “ripe for a rehab.”

The loft units all have in-unit washer / dryers and private terraces. Floor plans of these units vary widely in efficiency. A number have bedrooms that lack windows. Column placement can be an issue for furniture layout in some units.

Many of the tower units have a well-defined dining area. Corner two-bedrooms have a split-bedroom layout to maximize privacy. Typical of the era in which they were built, most of the units do not have in-unit washer / dryers or high ceilings. There are washer / dryers in what the building refers to as its “Super Two” apartments, the result of combining two units into a large two-bedroom. Units do not have balconies.

Appliances are all electric. The apartments have individual wall-mounted electric heating and air-conditioning units that eat into the floor space.

Axis has nearly completed the transition to a smoke-free building.

Views. Axis’ height and its proximity to the lake ensure great, uninterrupted views from the building’s higher floors. The view north is especially prized.

The aerial image above should enable you to get a fairly good fix on the views from different vantage points at Axis. You can also see view pictures at Axis’ website.

Residents have access to a rooftop sundeck with great views in all directions.

Amenities, services, policies

Axis’ amenities include a rooftop sundeck, a resident lounge with a kitchen, a fitness center, sauna, indoor heated pool, a laundry room, on-site dry cleaners and storage areas. There’s also a ground-floor business center.

The building has two furnished suites for overnight guests.

Parking is available in a 353-space on-site garage.

Dogs are accepted only in the loft apartments.

Axis has on-site management and leasing staff and 24/7 door staff.

The location

Axis is four short blocks north of the Chicago River, three blocks from Michigan Avenue, close to Lake Shore Drive and Navy Pier. It has convenient access to Lurie Children’s and Prentice Women’s hospitals, and Northwestern University’s downtown campus.

Shopping. Treasure Island, which bills itself as “America’s most European supermarket,” is conveniently located across the street from the building.

Whole foods recently opened a few blocks southwest of the building.

A Walgreen’s Pharmacy is three blocks south of Axis.

Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile shops and the Shops at North Bridge, anchored by Nordstrom, are a few blocks west of the building.

Dining, nightlife, entertainment.
There are literally 100s of dining and nightlife options within blocks of Axis, although the building doesn’t have as good proximity to them as some of its competitors.

Many of the local restaurants and night spots cater heavily to hotel guests, tourists and office workers, but you won’t have any trouble finding a go-back-to neighborhood favorite.

If you’re a bowling or movie buff, the lanes at Lucky Strike are several blocks away, upstairs from the 21-screen AMC River East mega-plex theater.

Parks, recreation. Axis has excellent park access.

Two blocks south of Axis is a pleasant park that’s actually the roof of a parking garage.

Oak Street Beach is a few blocks north of Axis. The building has easy access to Navy Pier and is close to Jane Addams Memorial Park, Ohio Street Beach and the Lakefront Trail.

Lake Shore Park, which has a running track, softball fields, tennis courts, a playground and a small field house, is four short blocks north. The Museum of Contemporary Art is at the west end of the park and just west of the museum is the delightful, tree-shrouded Seneca Playlot Park.

Transportation. Access to CTA and Metra train lines is inconvenient.

CTA bus service, via multiple routes, is excellent along Michigan Ave. Cabs are always plentiful in the area.

There’s a Zipcar location on-site.

Axis has quick access to and from Lake Shore Drive. Reaching I-90/94 and the rest of the city’s expressway grid can often be time-consuming. Expect near-gridlock conditions when there’s a major event in the neighborhood.

The competition

You’ll find additional options at YoChicago’s comprehensive Streeterville apartment guide.

Rentals are typically available in a number of nearby condo buildings, sometimes at sharply lower rents than in the newer apartment buildings.

Share your take on Axis

If you’ve lived at or visited Axis, and are not a real estate agent, add your thoughts in a comment. Comments are moderated, and commercial messages are not allowed.

Axis a/k/a Onterie Center

Address 441 E Erie St
City Chicago
# of Units 615
Pets Cats & dogs OK, subject to limits
Parking 353 on-site garage spaces
Completed 1986
Management Group Fox
Website Axis

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