This view will never get old! Arrive Lex apartments in Chicago’s South Loop are surprisingly affordable.
Living in downtown Chicago can be tough to afford. An apartment in Near North Side recently made headlines when it rented for $45,000 per month (yes…per month!). Most luxury apartments in the downtown area aren’t that outrageous, but they can certainly be expensive.
At HotSpot Apartment Rentals, my team and I play matchmaker between you and the thousands of apartments for rent in downtown Chicago. From the right neighborhood to amenities that’ll make you flip – we’ll hook you up with the perfect apartment for you. And if affordability is at the top of your list, we’ve got you.
I promise that renting a luxury apartment in Chicago doesn’t have to be super expensive, and I can’t wait to show you my favorite places.
What Makes an Apartment a Luxury Apartment?
Are you wondering what sets a luxury apartment apart from a regular, run-of-the-mill apartment? Luxury apartment features, amenities, and services are more modern and likely to include:
A State-of-the-Art Fitness Center
Most apartments, luxury or not, have shared fitness centers. The difference is quality.
Luxury residences have the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment like Peloton bikes, weights, and rowing machines. Some buildings even have yoga rooms and streaming studios that let you join an online class anytime you want.
The fitness studio at South Loop’s Aspire apartments has everything you need to keep your gains.
In-Unit Washer and Dryer
If you’re like me, having to share a community laundry room is a deal-breaker. Thankfully, most luxury apartments come with a washer and dryer in your unit. If laundry isn’t your thing, on-site dry cleaners or Tide Lockers (an app-based dry cleaning service) are also trending in luxury buildings.
Apartment Finishes and Details
To find upscale apartment furnishings – like stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, tiled backsplashes, and floor-to-ceiling windows – you’ll want to look at luxury apartments versus regular models.
Dog-Friendly Apartment Amenities
Many apartments allow dogs and cats, but it’s the luxury residences that unleash the upgrades. The best dog-friendly rentals in Chicago have pet spas, grooming areas, dog runs, and even private dog parks.
Service and Security
Luxury apartments generally come with round-the-clock security. Concierge services are one of the common luxury apartment amenities as well.
Resort-Style Outdoor Spaces
Chicago summer, here we come! Swimming pools, sundecks, lounge chairs, private cabanas, and access to gas grills are some of the many outdoor amenities you may find you can’t (or don’t want to) do without.
Consider the sun deck at Alta at K Station your new favorite summer hangout.
On-Site Rental Services
Hourly rental services, like Zipcars and bicycles, are nice luxury apartment features that can make opting out of owning a car a viable option. Talk about saving some big bucks!
Community Theater and Media Rooms
Don’t spend big bucks on going to the theater. Instead, cozy up in your apartment building’s theater. Most luxury buildings also have cool media rooms with jumbo televisions and cozy lounge space.
A movie theater in your apartment building?! Yes! This space at Alta at K Station gives AMC a run for its money.
Access to a Chef’s Kitchen
Foodies will love having a shared gourmet kitchen at their disposal. It’s a fun way to entertain guests and meet neighbors too.
Stepped Up Game Rooms
Forget Monopoly night. In luxury apartment buildings you’ll be entertained by golf simulators, billiards, and even bowling alleys.
The game room at Eleven40 apartments is a dream for any kid – big or small! Classic arcade games, skeeball, and a pool table are yours!
How to Find an Affordable Luxury Apartment in Chicago
The average rent in downtown Chicago runs about $2,500 per month. But, it doesn’t have to. More affordable options can be found for around $1,500 – $1,800 for studio apartments and $1,800 to $2,200 for one-bedroom.
If you want to find a luxury apartment in Chicago that fits a lower budget, it can be done! Here are some tips to help you cut corners and still come out winning.
Choose the Right Neighborhood
Choose a more affordable neighborhood like South Loop, Logan Square, Fulton River District, Uptown, or Edgewater. Typically, the farther you get from the city’s center, the less you are likely to pay.
Consider a Small Footprint
Compromise on space. Studio apartments are an excellent option for one person (and yes, there are some really great big studio apartments in Chicago!). Renting a convertible apartment, instead of a true one-bedroom, can be a lot less expensive too. And don’t get hung up on square footage – you can easily create an efficiently designed space.
Look for a Lofted Bedroom
Apartments with a lofted (one wall doesn’t reach the ceiling) second bedroom offer a stellar alternative if you’re looking for extra space.
Lofts are almost always cheaper than those with two fully enclosed bedrooms. The open area can usually be creatively filled with plants, decorative baskets, or other items that block a good amount of light and sound, and provide privacy as well.
Move at the Right Time
Try to lease between October and January when rent is at the lowest point of the year. Renting between March and September will almost inevitably cost you more because that’s when rents are at their highest.
Get a Bonus Deal
Take advantage of the concessions buildings offer to sweeten the deal. During the slower seasons, they tend to offer specials such as one month free, waived deposits, free parking, and rebates. Working with a leasing agent, who has the inside scoop on which buildings are offering which deals, is a no-brainer.
Lease in a Brand-New Building
It may feel counter-intuitive, but moving into a new luxury apartment building can actually be more affordable. New apartment buildings will offer a “lease-up” – a promotion they run prior to opening as they attempt to fill up the units.
Live Where You Work
Rent as close to your job as possible. If you can walk to work and don’t have to pay for public transit or parking, you can save a ton of money. Better yet – if you work from home, rent in a building with a coworking space, and you can cancel your We Work membership.
Ditch Your Car
Parking in Chicago costs $250 – $350 per month. But when you live downtown, you do not need a car. You will, however, want to make sure you rent in a neighborhood with conveniences such as grocery, drug stores, and restaurants within walking distance. Being close to public transit is a bonus!
Check Out Older Apartment Buildings
While a property that was built five or ten years ago may not be quite as modern, it will usually have all the amenities and conveniences you need. And you’ll love having more money in your pocket!
The Cheapest Luxury Apartments in Chicago
Ready to find your new place? My team and I make it easy! Finding the best apartments in Chicago is what we do (and we do it for free!). We’re here to help, but first, take a peek through our picks for the best affordable apartments in Chicago.
1. Left Bank Apartments in the Fulton River District
Although this building is 15 years old, it’s still relatively modern. Plus, it’s been updated recently, so it has the look and feel of being very up-to-date.
Here, you can opt for an upgraded unit, or cut costs by choosing a “classic” if you don’t mind having a little carpet under your toes rather than hardwood.
The remodeled kitchens at Left Bank apartments just may make you a home chef!
2. Aspire Apartments in South Loop
If you want new and affordable, Aspire apartments is one of my favorites. Opened in 2020, the building is new, modern, and full of surprises. Located in South Loop, it’s less than two miles from the heart of the city, with super close transit options just steps away.
The apartment units have wow-worthy features like nine-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. If you want some extra space but are on a budget, check out Aspire’s junior one-bedroom units. This more floor plan gives you a bedroom with a sliding pocket door, for the same rent you’d pay for a studio in other buildings.
For work-from-home renters, the coworking space is a dream. After a long day, reward yourself with a dip in the outdoor pool and dinner al fresco – with a view! Other amenities at Aspire include a golf simulator, an awesome fitness center, and sun-lit-filled lounges.
Talk about modern! The apartments at Aspire feel lofty and minimalist.
3. The Tides & The Shoreham Apartments in Lakeshore East
The two most affordable apartment buildings in Lakeshore East are these sister properties. And their location is prime! Located right next to each other between Millennium Park and Wacker Drive, they’re nestled into what feels like your own private neighborhood.
While these buildings are well-established, they both have newly renovated amenities and apartment units. With in-unit laundry and balconies available, these apartments are total gems!
4. Arrive Lex Apartments in South Loop
Located at Indiana and Michigan, this building sits at the far end of the South Loop, near McCormick Place. The units come in one to three-bedroom options and are always well-priced.
The apartments at Arrive Lex have everything you’d expect from a luxury apartment, plus one incredible bonus feature – balconies! And if you’re looking for an affordable apartment in Chicago that has an office, you’ve got to see Arrive Lex’s one-bedroom plus den units. Cheaper than a two-bedroom, it’ll still give you plenty of space to create a dedicated office.
The amenities at Arrive Lex aren’t too shabby either. The gym includes Peloton bikes and the resort-style rooftop pool is complete with jacuzzi and cabanas.
The floor-to-ceiling windows and an open-concept floor plan make the apartments at Arrive Lex feel spacious.
5. Xavier Apartments in Old Town
Who says an “eco-friendly” property can’t be affordable?
Located near Division and Halsted in Old Town, these apartments are walkable to Lincoln Park, River North, and River West. They have in-unit washers and dryers, exposed cement ceilings for an industrial touch, and non-toxic paints and finishes.
Amenities are bountiful too with a pool, gym, resident lounge, and 24-hour security on-site.
6. Eleven40 Apartments in South Loop
In the heart of South Loop sits a gem of an apartment building – Eleven40. With consistently low rent prices and a convenient location, Eleven40 feels like it has it all.
The high-rise, which opened in 2018, serves up amenities that spoil its residents. On the rooftop, check out the incredible “aqua lounge” that includes a resort-style pool and hot tub. Eleven40’s rooftop pool views even landed it on our list of the best apartment views in Chicago.
One smart feature in Eleven40’s studio apartment is Murphy beds. A fantastic way to save on furniture and space, it’s a genius design feature you’ll love!
7. The Cooper Apartments in South Loop
A beautiful building and location, The Cooper is a part of the impressive new Southbank development near Printer’s Row in South Loop. Just a 10-minute walk to Willis Tower, and located on the south branch of the Chicago River, The Cooper is surprisingly affordable.
Looking for a one-bedroom, but don’t have the budget for it? Check out the convertible layouts at The Cooper. The bedroom alcove still gives you some separation and you’ll save a couple hundred dollars a month on rent.
If you do rent a studio or convertible, you’ll still have space to stretch your legs. 35,000 square feet of amenity space are yours too. This building has all the standard amenities, plus some unique offerings including the “Listening Lounge” (a music practice room with instruments), a gaming room, and the Shop Space – a room stocked with art supplies and designed for creative crafting.
8. Randolph Tower Apartments in The Loop
If you’re looking for studio apartments in Chicago Loop (or even a one or two-bedroom), you’ve got to check this one out. Talk about character!
The Randolph Tower is a historic building reimagined as a fabulous, yet affordable, luxury rental. All units have hardwood floors and washers and dryers. And, this very unique building is loaded with amenities – it boasts an indoor pool, an excellent resident lounge, a fitness center, and even an on-site restaurant. The awesome location in the Loop makes it convenient to practically everything.
Want to swim year-round? Randolph Tower’s indoor pool has a great set-up for it! The adjoining fitness center lives in the historic building’s original ballroom – how cool is that?
9. The Van Buren Apartments in West Loop
Want to walk to Chicago’s best restaurants from your apartment? The Van Buren is close to the action on Randolph Row and Fulton Market, but the rent is more affordable than you’ll find in other nearby buildings.
Rent here and you’ll get an apartment with modern details like gray and white finishes, quartz countertops, and Nest thermostats. With 148 units, the Van Buren offers a smaller apartment community and amenities that bring residents together. Hang out in one of two separate outdoor amenity areas, including a rooftop pool with striking city skyline views. Inside, the top-floor resident lounge is a chic spot to relax. Fitness fanatics will love the workout room and its breathtaking views!
10. Bush Temple Apartments in River North
If you’re interested in affordable apartments in North Side Chicago and don’t need a ton of space, Bush Temple is your hidden gem.
This 1901 historic building (the Bush Temple of Music) is one of Chicago’s last surviving French Renaissance Revival buildings. Its transformation into boutique apartments has made it the coolest apartment building in the neighborhood. Small but efficient, the units have a retro vibe and the hotel-style amenities include a grand lobby, 24-hour fitness center, boxing ring, and a rooftop deck with pool.
11. Lawrence House Apartments in Uptown
If you’re looking for a cozy space in Uptown, take a look at Lawrence House. Managed by the same company as Bush Temple, these units are also small, but bursting with style.
The apartments in this beautifully restored historic building have details like subway backsplash, washer/dryers, and spa-like bathrooms with glass-enclosed rain showers. Amenities include a furnished rooftop terrace with stunning lake views, a huge fitness center with a boxing gym, and a fabulous heated swimming pool. Oh, there’s a dog run too!
12. Noca Blu Apartments in Logan Square
Location is the key to affordability at these Logan Square apartments. The area is still emerging but is close enough to downtown to make it convenient. If you need to commute, the Blue Line is super close too.
Noca Blu has a unique blend of style and culture and doesn’t hold back when it comes to upgraded furnishings. You’ll find washer/dryers, hardwood floors, huge walk-in closets, and personal patios, balconies, or decks. For common space, there’s a club room, lounge, fitness center, sundeck, and secured entry. Not bad considering the potential for some serious savings on rent here.
13. 180 N Jefferson Apartments in West Loop
Don’t pass by 180 N Jefferson! It may be one of the older buildings in West Loop, but it’s been beautifully renovated. The studios and convertibles are on the more spacious side when compared to brand-new construction, but the rent is affordable.
This is one of the most walkable buildings for commuters, minimizing the cost and time of getting to and from work. It’s close to Metra commuter trains and a quick 10-minute walk to the Loop.
The wow factor at 180 N Jefferson is the view. Nestled between the Loop and Interstate 90/94, it has near 360-degree views of the city. Your favorite hang-out spot will be 180 N Jefferson’s stunning roof deck. Curl into a lounge chair and take in your iconic view of the Chicago skyline.
14. Roosevelt Collection Apartments in South Loop
Located in the heart of South Loop, this low-rise building surrounds a shopping plaza. The modern units have one very cool feature – a balcony in every apartment! Roosevelt’s two-bedroom apartments are lofted, making them the most affordable two-bedroom apartments in South Loop.
The amenities and services are spot-on too, with night patrol security, a playground, pet care, a rooftop lounge, and lake access.
15. Exhibit Apartments in River North
Hoping to find cheap rent in River North, but have expensive taste? Exhibit apartments are modern, offer plenty of amenities and you can find an affordable unit.
Exhibit is an excellent example of how compromising on space can save you big bucks. Renting a convertible apartment, instead of a one-bedroom will you a few hundred dollars a month. The open-concept layouts here make even the smaller footprints feel airy, and most units have a balcony.
The amenities at Exhibit are set to impress. You’ll find lots of quiet lounge spaces – like the library nook, co-working space, and reading alcoves. If you’re looking for an apartment with a great fitness center, you’ve got it here. Spin bikes, a rowing machine, weights, treadmills – the gym is stacked! And there’s a huge surprise bonus on the rooftop. A true outdoor lap pool. While lots of luxury apartments have outdoor pools, a lap pool is a rarity.
16. Alta at K Station Apartments in Fulton River District
Perched on the Chicago River banks, there’s a lot to love about this residence, including its bargain rent price.
While most units are carpeted (though some do have wood floors), all apartments have laundry-in-unit, granite countertops, and condominium-style space. Alta @ K Station has a ton of awesome amenities too – a pool with cabanas, a fitness center, a basketball court, a sauna, a theater room, and cool lounges to hang and socialize in.
Yes, that’s a basketball court in your apartment building! Alta at K Station has some of the best amenities in the Fulton River District.
17. Eight Eleven Apartments in Uptown
At just four years old, Eight Eleven is one of Uptown’s newest luxury apartments. Its Uptown location makes the rent way cheaper than a more central downtown location, but I promise you’re going to fall in love with Uptown!
Situated at Montrose and Clarendon, it’s perched right on the lake so you’ll have breathtaking views. Eight Eleven’s apartments have kitchen islands, an in-unit washer and dryer, and stainless steel appliances. Outside, you’ll find a 50,000-square-foot elevated pool deck with outdoor kitchens and lush green spaces. Inside, you can play too – from a golf simulator to a game room, the focus is on fun. And the dog-friendly amenities are the best in the neighborhood. Your pup will love the outdoor dog run, dog wash, and close proximity to lots of spots to run and play.
Get Expert Help Finding Your New Apartment
Can you see yourself living in one of these apartments? The team at HotSpot would love to show around Chicago’s most affordable luxury apartments. We have a pulse on the Chicago rentals and know which buildings offer the best apartments for the best deal.