By Lacey Sikora
Since 2016, downtown Oak Park has experienced a building boom. Four new apartment buildings have gone up in the area bounded by Harlem and Forest and Lake and South Boulevard.
Ranging from 12 to 20 stories high, the new developments add a bit of height as well as 1,068 dwelling units to the village of roughly 52,200 inhabitants. As construction on the latest development, Albion, comes to a close, a glimpse inside the four buildings show us what this new cohort of renters is getting for their money in Oak Park.
The first building to rise above Lake Street was Vantage, a 21-story building at 150 Forest Ave. According to assistant community manager MacKenzie Bridge, the building opened to renters in 2016 and includes 270 apartments with five layouts: studios, one bedrooms, one bedrooms with dens, two bedrooms and two bedrooms plus den.
Apartments in Vantage include in-unit washers and dryers, gas ranges, stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops. Select units have terraces or balconies.
In terms of amenities, the building has an outdoor community deck complete with three Weber grills, two fire pits and hammocks. The building is pet-friendly and has a pet washing area.
The building fitness center includes a play area for children, and a parking spaces are available in the attached, covered garage. Bridge says the building, managed by Greystar, offers flexible lease terms between three and 15 months and that lease rates fluctuate based on the market and occupancy.
According to Apartments.com, studios in the building currently rent from $1,313 and up per month. One-bedroom apartments are available for $1,731 to $2,496 and two bedrooms are available from $2,051 to $2,824.
Bridge touts the building's great location, which is in close proximity to the Metra and CTA and says that residents love having Cooper's Hawk restaurant in the building.
Next up, is The Emerson, which opened its doors in 2017. Located at 1135 Westgate St., The Emerson contains 270 units inside its 20-story frame. The Emerson offers studios, one bedroom and two-bedroom apartments with different floor plans to choose from.
Units include ceramic-tile showers with frameless glass doors, stainless-steel appliances and luxury, wood-style flooring. According to Apartments.com, studios are currently available starting from $1,608 per month; one-bedrooms start at $1,905 and two-bedrooms rent from $2,745 to $3,372.
The building is LEED Silver certified and boasts an outdoor, heated pool at the sixth level. Two outdoor roof decks offer grilling stations and fire bowls, and a premium gym is available for residents.
The Emerson also has a Target Express in the building, a package concierge and a dry-cleaning valet. Located steps away from the Metra station, The Emerson also has indoor parking available and allows pets for additional fees.
Making its name easy to remember, Eleven33 is located at 1133 South Blvd. in Oak Park. With 263 units inside 12 stories, Eleven33 offers a variety of floor plans to choose from. The building includes 32 studios, 163 one-bedroom units, 65 two-bedroom apartments, and three three-bedroom units.
Jenna Maffeo, business manager for Lincoln Property Company, says the building had its first tenant move in in February 2019. As of early October, she reported, "At this point, we are 54 percent occupied and 59 percent leased. It's very strong progress in that amount of time."
Maffeo also says that two of the three-bedroom units are currently leased, and that she sees a lot of interest in the building's studios and one bedrooms. She points out that there are 37 different floor plans in the building, with different characteristics and says that high-end touches like quartz waterfall islands and undermount lighting in the kitchens, along with gas cook tops and washers and dryers, make the unites feel luxurious.
In terms of amenities, Eleven33 offers a 24-hour fitness center with yoga and fitness studios, a parlor area with a pool table, two conference rooms, an indoor dog park with a rolling garage door to the outdoors, a pet wash station and indoor bicycle storage.
Other add-ons include a fifth-floor outdoor social terrace and entertaining social club, which can be used to host community events or rented out by residents. A covered garage offers public parking and 262 spaces of nested residential parking are available for $125 per month per space.
Eleven33 offer lease terms of three to 15 months. Studios range from 512 to 601 square feet and start at $1,639 per month. One-bedroom units range from 674 to 878 square feet and start at $1,804 per month. Two-bedroom units range from 1,030 to 1,220 square feet with rents from $2,659 and three-bedroom units are 1,500 square feet and rent from $5,949 per month.
The newest building to open is Albion Oak Park, located directly across the street from Vantage at 1000 Lake St. Completed in August 2019, the 19-story building includes 265 units from studios up to three bedrooms, and offers garage parking for 204 vehicles.
Studios rent from $1,495 and up; one bedrooms will run you $1,920 and up; two bedrooms are priced at $2,910 and up, and three-bedroom units start at $4,715 and run up to a top price of $5,450.
The LEED certified building offers a dog run and pet washing station, a pool, a 24/7 fitness station, indoor/outdoor yoga spaces and an onsite coffee bar. In the loft-style units, wood-look flooring, quartz counters and gas ranges are standard. Appliance packages are stainless steel or slate, and select units include front-loading washers and dryers and or private terraces.
In addition to the rental rates listed on apartment rental sites, many of the newer buildings offer online promotions or incentives to new renters. While subject to change, these promotions can offer the chance to save some money.
Albion's publicity states that select units are eligible for one-month free rent. The Emerson also advertises one month free for signed leases. Eleven33 has advertised up to two months free rent on select units.
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