Chicago’s best West Loop / Near West apartments – Private outdoor space

We define Chicago’s “near west” neighborhoods to include the West Loop, Fulton River District and River West. You’ll find all of your major apartment options in these neighborhoods on our at-a-glance list of downtown apartments.

Our goal is to help you find the apartment that best fits your needs. Renters simply have so many differing priorities – and budget constraints – that singling out an overall best building would be a pointless exercise.

Our first posts in this series focused on location. We spotlighted the buildings with the best views, most convenient grocery shopping, and the best access to public transit, parks, the expressway grid, the Loop, dining and nightlife and retail shopping.

We turned our attention to aspects of the buildings, starting with affordability, building amenities, boutique ambiance and pet-friendliness.

Our final group of selections focuses on the apartments, starting with finishes and features.

Almost all of the newer buildings in the near west neighborhoods have private balconies, but not in all of their apartments. The exception is Trio: all of the tower units have private balconies with glass railings. Many of the balconies are unusually large, spanning 26-feet in width.

Trio is a three-building complex that includes two 7-story condo mid-rises in addition to the apartment tower. Trios of balconies on the tower are painted white in a playful allusion to the building’s name.

Chime in with a comment if you disagree with our selections.

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

We’ve also spotlighted the best apartments in River North, Streeterville and the South Loop.

Next topic: Studio / convertible floor plan.

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