ChicagoDowntown / Loop

The LEX apartments, 2138 S Indiana Ave, South Loop

by Joe Zekas on 12/2/13

The LEX apartment complex consists of a 35-story, 297-unit tower connected to a 7-story, 36-unit loft building by a 6-story 367-space parking garage. The complex also has ground-level retail space.

The South Loop building was completed in 2010 and is currently the tallest building in Chicago south of 13th St. The LEX, originally named Lexington Park, was built as a condominium on the site of the former Lexington Hotel, once the headquarters of Al Capone. ST Residential acquired the project from its lender after the condo development failed, and converted it to rental apartments in 2012.

Limerick, Ireland-based Chieftain Group was the developer. The architecture firm for the project was VOA Associates and Kenny Construction was the general contractor.

The apartments

The LEX offers 12 different one-, two- and three-bedroom, two-bath floor plans. One-bedroom apartments have one or one-and-a-half baths, and one of the plans has a den. Two-bedroom units have either one or two baths and several plans include a den. Three-bedroom units have two baths.

Floor plans and near real-time availability information can be accessed online. As of late-November 2013 1-bedrooms rented from $1,595, 2-bedrooms from $2,166 and 3-bedrooms from $3,341.

The apartments have open floor plans with 9- or 10-foot ceiling heights, floor-to-ceiling windows and generously-sized balconies. All of the apartments have in-unit washer / dryers. Living areas have hardwood floors and bedrooms are carpeted. Closet space is good.

Kitchens have quartz or granite counter tops and upgraded appliance packages with gas ranges and built-in microwaves.

A number of the floor plans have large baths with dual-bowl vanities and separate tubs and stall showers.

Most of the two-bedroom plans have the split-bedroom layout that’s preferred by roommates and people who office from home.

Views. The LEX has nearly-unobstructed views in every direction.

The building’s siting on an east – west axis and its floor-to-ceiling windows take maximum advantage of the views.

Amenities, services, policies

The LEX is a full-amenity building.

There’s a large landscaped deck above the garage with a pool, hot tub, grills, lounge seating, a fire pit and panoramic views. The deck has exposure to the sun throughout the day.

The LEX has a fitness room with up-to-date equipment adjacent to the pool deck.

There’s a business center and a party lounge with billiards, fireplace and TV. The LEX has a bike storage area and additional storage for residents. A furnished suite is available for overnight guests. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in common areas.

The LEX is a smoke-free building.

The LEX has on-site leasing and management staff and 24/7 door staff. The LEX is pet-friendly, subject to limits, and has a private dog run. The building has a 367-space on-site heated garage.

The location

The LEX is near the southern boundary of the South Loop neighborhood.

The location has excellent proximity to McCormick Place, Chinatown and Mercy Hospital.

WalkScore gives the location a “Somewhat Walkable” rating of 69 and an “Excellent Transit” score of 73. The location is poised for changes that could significantly raise both of those scores.

Shopping. Access to shopping is not one of the location’s strengths.

The nearest full-service grocery is a new Mariano’s, nearly a mile north and west of The LEX. South Loop Market, a few blocks north on Michigan Ave, is a family-run convenience store with a terrific selection of wines and craft beers.

There’s little to no retail development within a short walk of The LEX. The Shops at Roosevelt Collection and the large and growing cluster of big-box shops just west of the river along Roosevelt Rd are the most viable retail destinations.

Dining, nightlife.
Dining and nightlife options in the immediate area of The LEX are limited.

The LEX is adjacent to the Motor Row District, which is slated to become a music, entertainment and dining hub, taking advantage of its proximity to McCormick Place. Plans for the district have thus far resulted in little visible progress.

There are several restaurant choices at the nearby Hyatt McCormick Place, but residents of The LEX are likely to opt for some of the more casual local venues. Papa John’s Pizza, Pizzeria Brandi, Chef Luciano and the Velvet Lounge are on the block west of the building.

There’s a fun restaurant and nightlife strip just north of Cermak along State St, two short blocks from The LEX. Venues include Dragon Fire, Shark’s , Big Mike’s and Reggies.

The dog-friendly outdoor patio at Café Society, 1801 S Indiana, is a popular spot for locals to gather and gripe about its food and service.

Chinatown’s dining scene is a half-mile west of The LEX. There’s also a lively restaurant and bar cluster along Michigan Ave and Wabash Ave a mile north of the building.

Parks, recreation. The nearest public parks are several blocks from The LEX.

Chicago Women’s Park, two blocks north of The LEX, is a tranquil spot for relaxing or helping tend the community gardens.

Grant Park, Soldier Field and Northerly Island’s 12th Street Beach are an easy bike ride from The LEX.

Ping Tom Memorial Park, eight-tenths of a mile north and west of The LEX, is a neighborhood jewel. The park has great vistas along the Chicago River, kayak rentals, play areas, ball fields, an indoor swimming pool and a great deal more to offer.

Transportation. Public transportation from The LEX’s location is good.

CTA bus routes criss-cross the area, with stops outside the building.

The CTA recently began construction on a new Green Line station on Cermak Rd, a block-and-a-half west of The LEX. The nearest CTA train stop is the Chinatown station on the Red Line.

Metra Electric train stops at 18th St and at McCormick Place provide transit to Millennium Park to the north and the University of Chicago and suburbs to the south.

The location doesn’t have the same near-instant taxi service that you’ll find at other South Loop apartment buildings. Zipcar car-sharing locations are nearby.

The location has good access to Lake Shore Drive and to the city’s expressway grid via the nearby Stevenson Expressway (I-55).

The competition

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 South Loop rental guide and our at-a-glance list of downtown apartments.

The LEX in the news

More recent items are listed first.

  • Lexington Park finally goes rental
  • South Loop condo tower converts to renals
  • Lender takes back South Loop condo tower
  • Lexington Park buyer looks forward to move-in
  • Share your take on The LEX

    If you’ve lived at or visited The LEX, 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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