ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Coast at Lakeshore East, 345 E Wacker Dr, New East Side

by Joe Zekas on 8/29/13

The 49-story, 515-unit Coast, 345 E Wacker Dr, is the eighth residential high-rise at the Lakeshore East development in the New East Side neighborhood. It includes 18,000 square feet of retail space, 18,000 square feet of amenities and parking located below Wacker Dr. Pedestrian access is from Wacker Dr.

Coast opened for occupancy in March of 2013 and reported in mid-June that it was 50% leased.

Magellan Development Group is the developer, architects are Brininstool Kerwin Lynch and McHugh Construction was the contractor. Loewenberg Architects is the architect of record.

The units

Coast offers studio, convertible, 1-, 2- and 3-bedrooms. All of the apartments except for the 06 tier of convertibles have balconies. Unit features include 8 ½-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, in-unit washer / dryers, gas ranges, microwaves, dishwashers, vinyl plank flooring in living areas and carpeting in bedrooms.

Closet space, if that’s a concern, is more generous than you’ll find in most new apartment projects.

Interior finishes are reported to be sub-par. “They cut every cost they could. It’s like walking through a college dorm,” wrote one real estate broker.

Furnished short-term rentals in the building are available through Suite Home Chicago.

Views. North-facing units front Wacker Drive and the Chicago River and offer dramatic 180-degree views. Most of the south-facing units look into the Lakeshore East complex and have limited views.

Amenities, services, policies

Coast’s common-area amenities include a heated outdoor pool and landscaped terrace, lounge areas, a fire pit and barbecue grills. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center, saunas, whirlpools, a catering kitchen, a tech center with PC and Mac computers, and game, meeting and media rooms. Free Wi-Fi service is available in the common areas.

One Yelp reviewer reported a shortage of seating on the pool deck.

Door staff is available 24/7. The building is 100% smoke-free. Cats and dogs are accepted, subject to limits.

As is the case at all of the newer high-rise apartment buildings you should expect to pay a variety of fees in addition to the quoted rent.

The location

According to Coast’s website:

Coast’s soothing modern apartments create your personal urban beachside resort. Stroll home from work, kick off your shoes and roll-up your pants. Experience a coastal retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan.

That description goes well beyond acceptable marketing puffery into the realm of outright deception. The location is nowhere near a beach, and can’t legitimately be described as “coastal” or “on the shores of Lake Michigan.”

Walk Score gives the location a Walker’s Paradise score of 95 and a Rider’s Paradise transit score of 100.

Coast legitimately has a walk-to-nearly-everything location. Pedway access is available via the Swissotel, directly east of The Coast.

Shopping. The Mariano’s Fresh Market at Lakeshore East is a major draw for residents and typically garners rave reviews. A CVS Pharmacy is located around the corner from Coast in the nearby Aqua building.

Coast affords its residents quick access to shops in the Loop and along North Michigan Avenue.

Dining, nightlife. There are abundant options in the immediate area, but most cater heavily to tourists and office workers.

Parks, recreation. Coast has outstanding proximity to parks and recreational activities.

There’s a 4.6-acre park within the compact New East Side neighborhood and convenient access to the many attractions and events at Millennium Park, Grant Park and the Chicago Riverwalk.

Cultural attractions. Many of Chicago’s top cultural attractions are a short walk or quick cab ride away from Coast. The Loop’s theater district is a few blocks to the west and the Art Institute and Chicago Symphony are a few blocks to the south.

Transportation. Coast residents have quick access to CTA buses and trains. The South Shore Line and Metra Electric, a block southeast of the property, both connect to McCormick Place and the University of Chicago. Bus routes connect to Metra’s Ogilvie Transportation Center and to Union Station.

Lake Shore Drive is nearby and connects to the Stevenson Expressway. Travel times to I90/94 are not burdensome.

The competition

Coast’s most direct competitors are the nearby rental buildings in the New East Side neighborhood: Columbus Plaza, Aqua, The Tides, The Shoreham, North Harbor Tower and Millennium Park Plaza.

You might also consider condos for rent in New East Side buildings – they’re occasionally available at sharply lower rents than you’ll find in the rental buildings.

See YoChicago’s Guide to renting in Chicago’s Loop and New East Side and our at-a-glance list of downtown apartments for additional options and tips.

Coast in the news

More recent items are listed first.

  • Did Coast cheap out on its apartment finishes?
  • Coast reports being 50% leased
  • Crane’s up and The Coast is clear at Lakeshore East
  • The Coast will block views from The Tides, The Shoreham, Aqua
  • New Lakeshore East tower could break ground in June
  • Share your take on Coast

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

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