Chicago’s best West Loop / Near West apartments – Studio / convertible floor plan

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, so we’re spotlighting the best choices on 18 different criteria.

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 and private outdoor space.

There are a number of attractive competitors for top billing in the best studio / convertible floor plan category.

Mondial, in the River West neighborhood, is the only near west building that has studios with balconies. The balconies, which span nearly the entire width of the apartment, together with a floor-to-ceiling window and expansive views, create a feeling of spaciousness that’s hard to match in a smaller apartment. The studios also have a much larger than average living / dining area and a kitchen that’s open to it.

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

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: One-bedroom floor plan.

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