Streeterville’s best apartments – views

This post is the first in a series on the best apartment towers in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. The above photo shows the relative location of all of the buildings south of Chicago Ave in Streeterville, except for Optima Center, which is a block further west.

Renters simply have so many differing priorities – and budget constraints – that singling out an overall best building would be a pointless exercise. We’ll identify the buildings that rank highest on each of these 18 criteria:

Location: Views, grocery shopping convenience, public transit access, proximity to parks and beaches, expressway access, walking distance to the Loop, nearby dining and nightlife, and retail shopping.

Building features: Affordability, amenities package, boutique ambiance and pet-friendliness.

Apartments: Apartment finishes, private outdoor space, studio / convertible floor plan, one-bedroom floor plan, two-bedroom floor plan and three-bedroom floor plan.

We begin with the first item on our list, views, and note that a number of the buildings in Streeterville enjoy good views of the downtown skyline, the lake and the river. If views are one of your top priorities, Streeterville serves up some good choices.

Our vote for the building with the best views in Streeterville goes to Axis, 441 E Erie St. At 58 stories and 570 feet in height, the building formerly known as Onterie Center is currently the tallest apartment tower in Streeterville.

Views north along the lakefront are considered to be some of the most desirable in Chicago, and the north-facing units at Axis have the best north lakefront views in Streeterville.

Higher-floor apartments at Axis have good views in every direction, and the building has a rooftop sundeck that affords all of its residents access to those views. Views to the west will take a hit from new Northwestern Memorial and Rehab Institute of Chicago buildings that are currently under construction.

The 52-story, 398-unit apartment and hotel tower at 435 North Park Drive is within a few stories of topping out at 590 feet. The building will rival Onterie Center for the best views, and may surpass it.

435 North Park Drive will have unobstructed views over the Ogden Slip to Lake Michigan, views west along the river and northwest into the skyline. High-floor units will also have views of the skyline to the south and southwest to the Loop.

The building will have a suite of rooftop amenities, including an outdoor terrace, enabling all of the apartment residents to enjoy the views.

The website for the recently-opened Optima Center showcases the building’s views in different directions from a number of different floors. Optima Center may not have the best views in Streeterville, but its website does the best job of showing you what the views are.

In addition to having different priorities, renters have differing takes on what constitutes a great view. If you disagree with our selections, chime in with a comment.

You’ll find links to our objective, visually-rich apartment reviews of Streeterville buildings, and links to near real-time availability checks for most of the buildings, at our Near North at-a-glance list, and some tips and advice at our Guide to renting in Streeterville.

Next topic: Most convenient grocery shopping.

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