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Which of these 2 downtown Chicago buildings is in a better location?


May 2nd, 2014, 05:46 PM
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Which of these 2 downtown Chicago buildings is in a better location?

I will be traveling to Chicago in December with my husband, sister, and brother-in-law. We will be staying for 4 nights. We have narrowed down our condo selection to 2 units in different buildings.

The first is the Optima building located on E Illinois St.

The second is the Aqua building near Lake Shore East Park.

While there is only about a half-mile difference between the two locations, I wanted to see if anyone who might be familiar with Chicago has any input on these 2 locations. We are in our early 30s and enjoy great restaurants and bars. None of us have ever been to Chicago.

Thanks in advance for your help!
knwolf is offline  
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May 2nd, 2014, 07:57 PM
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In many cities short term vacation rentals are illegal. I am not sure about Chicago, but it appears that is the case. Be careful about a possible illegal rental, especially a condo.

"Arrangements are illegal as the City of Chicago requires that anyone offering up a vacation rental must possess a Vacation Rental license (those pesky laws, always getting in the way of everybody's fun). The new ordinance was enacted in 2011 (perhaps with the ill-fated Olympic bid in mind?) and defines a vacation rental as essentially "a dwelling unit with up to six sleeping rooms that are available for rent or for hire, for transient occupancy by guests which are not owner-occupied."
DebitNM is online now  
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May 2nd, 2014, 08:34 PM
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Just plot them on Goggle maps or mapquest.
fmpden is offline  
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May 2nd, 2014, 09:43 PM
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The Aqua is just south of the Chicago River about a block east of Michigan Avenue in what's known as "the new East Side." It has a mix of new residential buildings with offices and hotels.

The Optima is in Streeterville, just north of the river about a half-block east of Michigan and behind the Intercontinental Hotel.

As you note, the two are only about a half-mile apart and an easy walk to Michigan Avenue shopping and river north restaurants. The area around the Aqua tends to be a bit quieter because it's not on the tourist radar. The Optima has more traffic around it due to a nearby movie theatre and being on the path from the Mag Mile to Navy Pier.

Either would be fine, choose the one that appeals to you. For restaurants and events, check www.chicagoreader.com or www.chicagomag.com. You can search restaurants on either by neighborhood, cuisine or price.
Citylghts is offline  
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May 3rd, 2014, 09:11 AM
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Hi, knwolf. The Optima/East Illinois location will offer a much better, more convenient experience, I think. The Aqua is just placed a bit out of the way for the majority of things I imagine a visitor to the city will be doing. Michigan Ave. has the easier bus connections.
ChgoGal is offline  
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May 3rd, 2014, 10:27 AM
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Both are good locations so go w the nicer condo. If similar the Optima is slightly closer to the action!! Chicago is wonderful. Have fun and if weather permits take the river architecture tour!!
eroz is offline  
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May 3rd, 2014, 10:43 AM
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Agree that if these are condos make sure the rental is legal - and you won't have to be sneaking in an out of the building or pretending to be relatives of the owner. (Some condos do allow sublets - but in many they are banned by the owners lease and are grounds for removal from the apartment.)
nytraveler is offline  
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May 5th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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I have lived in both areas and Streeterville is much more xonvenient
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