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An inconspicuous corner in Chicago’s West Town is about to get a much-needed makeover. Construction on Inspire West Town – the newest apartments to land near the River West neighborhood – is set to begin in January 2021. 

The new apartments will bring a welcome change to the corner of Erie and May Streets with pops of bright white and green standing nine-stories tall.

A rendering of new downtown Chicago apartments Inspire West Town
Rendering of Inspire West Town, coming in 2022 to Ogden Ave. between Erie and May streets. Image: Chicago Department of Planning and Development/Fitzgerald and Associates Architects.

Set to open in 2022, the building will add 113 brand-new apartments to one of Chicago’s best and most-booming neighborhoods. 

Located at 1140 W. Erie Street / 670 N. May Street, Inspire West Town will be just off of Ogden near the I-90 Expressway overpass. Close to River West and Fulton Market, this funky pie-shaped slice of the city will keep you close to everything downtown Chicago has to offer. 

A Sight for Sore Eyes 

Currently, there’s a run-down single-story office building and parking lot, but it actually used to have a pretty cool tenant. This was where the independently-owned classical and jazz radio station WNIB was located until they signed off the air in 2001.  

My husband and I live nearby and have watched the lonely building deteriorate over the years. 

The lot near River West that will soon be home to Inspire West Town luxury apartments
Current blighted conditions at May and Ogden, future site of Inspire West Town Apartments, a bright new mid-rise apartment complex coming to this spot that will give it a much-needed upgrade. 

We’ve wildly speculated about what has actually existed at the mysterious office building. My husband has theorized that it might be a secret place for law-enforcement interrogation, like something out of a 1970s police drama TV show. I just think it was used for storage. (That’s marriage for you, huh!).

Don’t let Inspire’s pre-transformation state fool you. This location is a diamond-in-the-rough. Renters in these new apartments will enjoy a vibrant neighborhood, unobstructed views of the downtown skyline to the east and spectacular city sunsets to the west.

Developer and Plan Details

Bond Companies is the Chicago developer behind the plans for this mixed-use new construction project. They’re familiar with the area having also recently developed Spoke Apartments, just a few blocks northwest on Milwaukee Avenue. 

A kitchen in a unit at Spoke Apartments in downtown Chicago
A modern kitchen at Spoke Apartments, another nearby recent luxury apartment development that was completed by Bond Companies in 2017.

For Inspire West Town, Bond is again partnering with Fitzerald and Associates Architects. They also designed Spoke Apartments, as well as another new apartment complex just up the street on Ogden called The Westerly. 

Both of these modern luxury apartments in River West should give us a pretty good indication of what’s to come at Inspire West Town.

A one-bedroom apartment at Westerly luxury apartments in downtown Chicago
A spacious 1-bedroom luxury apartment with room for an at-home work desk at The Westerly apartment complex, completed in 2020, which Fitzgerald Architects also designed. This will be a neighbor just to the north of Inspire West Town apartments.

The proposed plans show us that Inspire West Town will be a 108-foot tall building with nine stories, including retail space, resident shared amenity spaces and 113 new apartments.

The rental units will be a mix of studio, convertible, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom floor plans. Some units will have private balconies.

Interestingly, nearly half of the apartments will be 2-bedroom units. With 1-bedroom units added in, these larger units will make up 87% of the rentals here. There will be a smaller number of studios/convertibles (just 13 units), and only a couple of 3-bedroom apartments. This will be a unique combination of unit types at Inspire West Town, since the majority of new luxury apartments throughout the downtown are typically dominated by studio units.

The extra space is sure to appeal to work-from-home tenants, a trend that’s expected to continue even when Covid is a thing of the past. Although, with so many nearby transit options available, this will be an ideal location for commuters too.

Inspire’s Design Details

Renderings for this new building show us white metal panels making up the majority of the building exterior, along with kelly green accent panels and sun-shades over the balconies. The base level is gray brick on the side and back, with floor-to-ceiling windows for the building lobby and retail space along Ogden Avenue. 

A rendering of new Inspire West Town apartments in downtown Chicago
A rendering of Inspire West Town apartments of the north side elevation along May Street, showing plenty of balcony apartments that will have fantastic views of the downtown skyline, as well as western sunsets. Image: Chicago Department of Planning and Development/Fitzgerald and Associates Architects.

Around the perimeter of the building, lots of landscaped green space will bring some welcome nature and beautification to the updated lot. There will be a parkway of trees along Ogden Avenue, as well as a generous lawn and trees on Erie Street. An evergreen hedge will screen the building transformers and ornamental trees with flowering perennials will soften the facade along May Street.

In addition to ground-level retail, the first floor will also include a lobby, fitness center, tenant storage room, mail room, package delivery room, and bike storage. I also spy a dog wash and a dog run, which means these will be dog-friendly apartments in West Town, just like other new, pet-friendly luxury apartments in the adjacent River West neighborhood.

On the second-floor, residents will enjoy over 4,000 square-feet of sunny south-facing deck space. Up on the top-floor is another deck that is attached to an indoor party room. These spaces face east, with what will surely be amazing views of the downtown Chicago skyline.

The rooftop deck at Westerly apartments in downtown Chicago
The rooftop deck at The Westerly apartments, completed in 2020. The same architects also designed Inspire West Town apartments and the plans show a similar roof deck may be coming there too!

Neighborhood Transit Options

Inspire West Town will have amazing access to transportation options for all sorts of commuting. Sitting adjacent to the I-90 overpass, there is instant access to the expressway with an on-ramp right across the street. The building also will have 29 parking spaces available for residents with cars. 

The intersection just north at Ogden/Milwaukee/Chicago has a CTA Blue Line train station (to Loop or O’Hare Airport), plus two bus stops for #56 Milwaukee Avenue (a Loop Link route) and #66 Chicago Ave (cross town). 

The protected bike lanes on Milwaukee Ave will also appeal to cyclists that want a safe commute.

Inspire West Town’s Neighborhood 

While it technically sits just outside the southwest boundary of River West, Inspire West Town residents are sure to call the neighborhood home. The area is experiencing healthy changes as it continues to add more residential density. Since 2016, River West has had around dozen new apartment and condominium developments completed or under construction.

The neighborhood map around new downtown Chicago apartments Inspire West Town
Neighborhood map surrounding the new luxury apartments coming soon to 1140 W Erie.

River West Neighborhood Favorites

For the Foodies 

The restaurants and services nearby are high on convenience, including a few pizza joints, Windy City Diner (for breakfast and lunch), Big Shoulders Coffee shop, Dunkin Donuts, and a CVS market and pharmacy. Our favorite watering holes, the tiny Matchbox bar and the biker-themed Twisted Spoke bar and restaurant also offer cool options for hanging out along Ogden. 

For more upscale fare, stroll down to the intersection at Grand/Milwaukee for a couple of the best alfresco restaurants in town – incredible Italian cuisine at Piccolo Sogno and modern American dining at The Dawson. Along the way on Milwaukee or Grand you will see several diverse dining options, as well as art galleries, boutique shops, and great hair/makeup salons.

River West is the best connector neighborhood in the city, so you are less than 10 minutes to the Loop, West Loop, River North, Ukrainian Village, and Wicker Park to expand your recreational reach. 

Parks and Rec

For fresh air and green space, two of the oldest neighborhood parks on the west side are nearby. Union Park, created in 1853, sports just over 13 acres and sits about a mile southwest down Ogden. 

About a half-mile west on Chicago Avenue is Eckhart Park, created in 1907. It has nearly nine-acres of open sports fields, basketball courts and a fenced-in playground. And, its Chicago Park District field house has one of the best indoor swimming pools in the city.

Inspire West Town Neighborhood Highlights and Convenience 

Workplaces Close to Inspire West Town

Nearby Parks and Sports

Commuting Options Near Inspire West Town 

  • CTA Blue Line Chicago Ave Station
  • #66 Chicago bus
  • #56 Milwaukee bus
  • #65 Grand bus
  • I-90 Expressway

Stores and Services Near Inspire West Town 

Restaurants, Bars and Coffee Shops near Inspire West Town 

Ready for a new luxury apartment in Chicago’s River West? Reach out to HotSpot Rentals. We’d love to help you find your next great place in this growing neighborhood, or anywhere else in downtown Chicago.

Blog Author Signature: Sarah
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