Graduating from college and moving to a new city can be an exciting yet intimidating time in your life. Along with learning unfamiliar surroundings and a completely new routine, many recent college graduates also have to deal with the added stress of managing a higher cost of living compared to what they're used to in most college towns throughout the country. And while Chicago is still considerably more affordable than most major coastal cities, the sticker shock can be real for anyone who hasn’t already done at least a little research. So whether you’re planning a permanent move to Chicago for a new job or potentially just a short-term move for a temporary internship, here’s a closer look at several Chicago apartment towers that offer a premium location and rent prices that won’t break the bank.
Landmark West Loop
1035 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Thanks to a seemingly endless supply of authentic urban lofts, a lively restaurant and nightlife scene that continues to evolve, and a growing number of tech companies and start-ups setting up shop in nearby Fulton Market, Chicago's West Loop has become one of the trendiest parts of the city. Finding a reasonably-priced apartment in the West Loop these days isn't always easy, but Landmark West Loop generally walks that fine line of providing sleek, newer construction living spaces that are still competitively priced. The building is also large enough to offer a wide variety of floor plan options, increasing the chance you'll find an available unit in your desired price range. Current market rates have studio apartments at Landmark West Loop starting around $1,935/month with full-sized one-bedroom units jumping up to $2,655/month. Location-wise, residents are situated just blocks from the CTA Blue Line, not to mention the Illinois Medical District campus and Google's Midwest headquarters. Additionally, you'll also have full access to all of Landmark's premium lifestyle amenities, including high-speed Internet, access to virtual experiences, a co-working space, a sundeck, swimming pool, hot tub and library.
500 N. Lake Shore Drive
500 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611
For many newbies moving to Chicago, enjoying sprawling, unobstructed views of Lake Michigan from the comfort of your own apartment feels like the ultimate living experience. And while you’ll certainly pay a premium for those mesmerizing lake views, 500 N. Lake Shore Drive is a newer Streeterville apartment tower that still maintains some level of affordability. Studio apartments at 500 N. Lake Shore start at just under $2,500/month, which for a full-amenity building on the lakefront in the heart of downtown, is still considered to be a tremendous value. For anyone who prefers a bit of separation between the main living area and where you sleep, but is also still working with a tight budget, alcove studio units are an ideal option to consider and only jump up to $2,720/month at 500 N. Lake Shore Drive. As for the building itself, future residents will love being just blocks from Michigan Avenue and all the hustle-and-bustle of the big city; and you’ll also have access to some premium lifestyle amenities as well, including high-speed internet, a private fitness club curated by Equinox, an on-site dog run and pet spa, a resident lounge and party room, and a spectacular rooftop pool and sundeck with one-of-a-kind lake and city views.
111 W Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
While it might be hard to top your own personal view of Lake Michigan, overlooking the main branch of the Chicago River isn’t the worst secondary option, which is exactly what you get at OneEleven in the Loop. Conveniently located at LaSalle and Clark streets, OneEleven provides residents with unparalleled access to both the Loop and River North, perhaps making it the ideal apartment building for future Chicagoans looking to embrace the nightlife and entertainment venues of River North while still being close to the office in the Loop, which still acts as the city’s primary business and financial district. Like many of the larger, newer construction apartment buildings in Chicago, OneEleven is loaded with studio and one-bedroom floor plans that are perfect for the recent college grad, and the lifestyle amenities scattered throughout the building are also noteworthy as well. Once moving in, you’ll have complete access to Club OneEleven, which is a premium lounge space with floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, and an outdoor terrace with resort-style seating, three private outdoor kitchens, and absolutely unbeatable views of the downtown Chicago cityscape. There’s also an in-building health and wellness center with a spa-stye pool and state-of-the-art exercise equipment, as well as 24 hour door service, a screening room for gaming and watching movies or big games, an additional lounge with billiards tables and TVs, an indoor/outdoor dog run and full-service pet spa, and a controlled-access parking garage with EV charging stations and additional bike storage. As for current rental rates, look for studio apartments at OneEleven to start around $2,385 right now with the lowest priced one-bedroom checking in at around $2,848/month, according to the building’s website.