A Michigan Avenue rental — but few Michigan Avenue views — for $3.18 a square foot

Tier 10 condo at Six North Michigan in Chicago's LoopThe average price of a downtown Chicago apartment in 2Q 2010 hovered around $2.37 per square foot for Class A apartments and $2.03 for Class B apartments, according to Appraisal Research Counselors. If you drill into the 60602 ZIP code — a largely commercial stretch of the Loop bounded by Michigan Avenue and Madison, Randolph, and Wells streets — you’ll find a handful of condos on Wabash, Washington, and State, all in the $1.32 to $1.88 range.

Then there’s this place, which comes with the premiums of being a brand new unit with a Michigan Avenue address and the convenience of Millennium Park right across the street. Unit #610 at Six North Michigan is near the building’s southwest corner and looks out onto Madison Street; you might get a slight park view, but only through early 20th century-sized windows (hardly floor-to-ceiling, in other words). It has one bedroom with two wall closets and a partial height wall, one bath with porcelain finishes, an island kitchen with Snaidero cabinetry and quartz countertops, in-unit laundry, and hardwood floors throughout.

The size? 911 square feet. The cost? $2,900 a month. Put them together, and you get $3.18 per square foot. Talk about paying for location.

OK, so maybe it isn’t fair to compare this price against other 60602 units, most of which are located deeper inside the Loop. That’s why I turned to the listings for other Michigan Avenue rentals stretching all the way from Randolph to Roosevelt Road. What did I find? Nothing higher than $2.81 per square foot (for a 2,100 square-foot, townhome-style duplex near the base of Metropolitan Tower, 310 S Michigan Ave) and an average price closer to $1.95 per square foot.

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