Gimme Shelter

MAC

Locations: Nearly 80 properties throughout Hyde Park and Kenwood

Amenities: Range widely depending on the property, but may include balcony, dishwasher, bike room, hardwood floors or carpeting, granite countertops, air conditioning, sunroom, a laundry center, private parking, fireplace, and fitness center. All apartments include heat, water, and 24-hour maintenance.

Rent Range: Studio: $600-800; one-bedroom: $800-1000; two-bedroom: $1000-1500; three-bedroom: $1400-1800; four-bedroom: $1700+; five-bedroom+: $2500+

Pros: The company has a huge selection, so just about anyone can find an apartment that suits their needs. Their website contains detailed descriptions of each property, including photographs and a floor plan, and you can quickly set up an appointment to visit the apartments yourself.

Cons: There may be “24-hour maintenance,” but residents have complained that MAC is very slow to respond to issues.

User Comments: “There were only two washers and dryers for the whole building…one set of washer/dryer broke partway through the year, and MAC didn’t fix it for months despite repeated pleas, so the entire building had only one washer and dryer.” “The maintenance service is elegant and the rooms, which are invariably shaped like ovals in a flawless 1950’s style, gives the whole experience a very modern feel.”

Notes: It’s MAC. You’ve probably heard a few horror stories about it. Nevertheless, the facts are that around 10,000 students in Hyde Park live in a MAC apartment, and the renewal rate for apartments is 60%, above the industry average of 50%. Also, note that MAC owns apartments that may include a seperate, non-MAC staff in addition to MAC’s own, or special amenities not found in other MAC apartments. Windermere House, for example, has its own on-site maintenance staff, and a 24-hour front desk. Other MAC-owned buildings include the Blackwood, Regents Park, the Algonquin, the Shoreland, and Del Prado.

Contact Info: MAC Apartments, 1364 E. 53rd St. (773)548-5077, macapartments.com (Sharon Lurye)


Regents Park

Location: The tall buildings at 5020 — 5050 South Lake Shore Drive between 50th and East Hyde Park.

Amenities: Amenities are a selling point for the Regents Park apartment complex.  The development’s North Tower features a fitness center with a 20-yard lap pool, whirlpool weight room and sauna, as well as a restaurant. Meanwhile, a small grocery store and the Regents Cup, a coffee shop with Wi-Fi, are located on the first floor of the South Tower. For whose who own a car, a garage has parking spaces which can be reserved for a fee. The fact that the complex is home to a range of people–from graduate and undergraduate students to long-time neighborhood residents–also sets it apart from the buildings of the student ghetto.

Rent Range: Studio: $1015-$1250; one-Bedroom: $1150 – $1585; two-Bedroom: $1550-$2100; Three Bedroom: $2025-$2450; four-Bedroom: $3100 – $3200

Pros: Situated in East Hyde Park, Regents Park is a stone’s throw from public transportation: a #6 stop is located at the intersection of 51st Street and East End Avenue and there’s a Metra entrance at the viaduct on 51st Street. During the academic year, the East Route shuttles past the building.  Some tenants enjoy views of Lake Michigan and the city, especially from upper floor apartments (the South Tower has 36 floors and its Northern twin has 37). And the Hyde Park Art Center, a BP gas station, and Istria Café are all a block away, while Harold Washington Park is directly south of the complex.

Cons: While a fair share of students choose to live at Regents Park, the buildings are a considerable distance—about a thirty minute walk, give or take—from the UofC campus.  Living in the complex also comes at a price: rents have increased since last year and utilities are not included.  And soon after new management arrived last October, tensions with staff over wages led to a strike, which resulted in the firing–and, after residents protested–rehiring of workers.

User Comments: “It’s very easy to go to campus and also go downtown, which is the difference between Regents Park and the dorms. Of course, the view of Lake Michigan is very pretty.”

Contact info: Regents Park LLC, 5020 S. Lake Shore Dr. (773) 288-5050. regentsparkchicago.com (Jeffrey Bishku-Aykul)

 

Del Prado

Location: 5307 South Hyde Park Boulevard, 2 blocks from the lake and the Metra

Amenities: New on-site fitness center, hair salon, dry cleaning, common lounges, laundry center, and bicycle storage. Units offer stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a dishwasher.

Rent Range: Studio $973-$1,105; One-bedroom $1,195-$1,365; Two-bedroom $1,418-$1,675; Three-bedroom available starting in July, projected around $1,800

Pros: Built in 1918, Del Prado was historically one of the classiest hotels on the South Side. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, residents enjoy the original grand staircases and intriguing Native American-themed architectural flourishes, as well as the chance to rub shoulders with the ghosts of Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra, who stayed there to play the White Sox. Last year’s renovations have fully modernized the interiors and appliances; the electrical and plumbing systems are brand new. Proximity to 53rd Street shops means accessible shopping, and a Metra stop provides a quick route downtown.

Cons: The location is a solid 20-minute walk from the quad, and rates are on the high end for a typical student. In addition, Del Prado is no party house–most current tenants are far past the cacophony and shenanigans of their own wild college days.

User Comments: “The newly renovated building is beautiful, the staff is incredibly friendly and the view cannot be beat!”

Contact Info: The Del Prado, 5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd. (888)471-7014. thedelpradoapartments.com (Bea Malsky)

 

Parker-Holsman

Locations: Throughout Hyde Park and South Shore

Amenities: The extra services and facilities vary from building to building.

Rent range: Studio $580-850; one-bedroom $775-1100; two-bedroom $950-1500; three-bedroom $1500+

Pros: The company is on top of its game in terms of organization and response, trying hard to respond to tenants’ needs in a timely manner. They also primarily manage buildings constructed before 1930, giving residents the opportunity to glance into Hyde Park’s storied past. While having an older stove may not always help with even cooking, they are much more attractive than the standard white box from Sears.

Cons: The buildings host a range of residents–students aren’t the main target. Instead, grad students and families abound. This translates to a lack of tolerance of rowdy student conduct, so be prepared to accept a lot of responsibility for one’s actions and a noise curfew. Depending on your taste, the cheap Van Gogh reproductions may be an annoyance.

Notes: Parker-Hoslman also manages and sells a significant number of condo units for those who are looking for a more permanent housing option. (Tyler Leeds and Isaac Dalke)

 

Mr. Lin

Locations: 56th and Drexel, 55th and Dorchester, two buildings on 56th and Maryland, various other listings around the neighborhood.

Amenities: Rent covers heat, water, and the internet, and electricity is included with condos.

Rent Range: Studio $850; two-bedroom $700 – $1250; three-bedroom $1600 – $1700; four-bedroom $1800 – $2100

Pros: On-site laundry, locations right next to campus, and a friendly landlord willing to negotiate with tenants. You could shoot an indie film on the skylit spiral staircase at 5635 S. Maryland.

Cons: No pets, Mr. Lin can only be contacted over the phone, and the listings are variable and sometimes unusual. Maintenance may also be spotty.

Notes: Neither Yelp! nor Google have any information on Mr. Lin’s Apartments or Edlin Realty. You’ll have to call Mr. Lin to get details on his current listings. Leases are annual and start in either June or September.

User Comments: “He keeps his books on paper. It’s not at all electronic. So it’s kind of weird in that way… When he fixes things, he’s not the best Mr. Fix-It, but then he’s easier to work with. The university was really slow about paying me for a couple different things, and then I told Ed Lin about it, and he told me, ‘All right, pay me when you get the check.’ As you can see, it’s not the nicest looking apartment, but I do prefer it to MAC.”

Contact: Call Mr. Lin at (773) 241-6854. (Nathan Worcester)

 

Blackstone

Location: Several properties on 54th & Woodlawn

Amenities: Heat and hot water are included. All units have hardwood floors, communal washers and dryers, and bike storage rooms. Some units have parking. Blackstone’s maintenance on-call and emergency hotline are both available 24/7. Units are freshly painted for new lessees.

Rent Range: two-bedroom $1100; three-bedroom $1700; four-bedroom $1800.

Pros: Most units have new cabinets and appliances. Aside from that, the location is a big plus. Blackstone’s apartments are close to campus, and nearby Kimbark Plaza has a grocery store and a number of different restaurants. Public transit is also easily accessible. Blackstone’s management office is located on the same street as the properties, so if you want to talk to the company about your apartment, you can walk there in your slippers.

Cons: All of Blackstone Management’s properties are located on one street, so if you’re looking to live beyond 54th and Woodlawn, this is not the company for you.

Notes: Blackstone Management has been in business since 1988 and only has properties in Hyde Park, so they know the area and the needs of local residents well. They rent properties primarily to students and faculty at the University of Chicago, but also have clients who attend Columbia College, Harold Washington College, and other local schools. Blackstone properties are family-friendly due to their close proximity to Ray Elementary School.

Contacts: Blackstone Management, 5413 S. Woodlawn Ave. (773)667-1568. blackstonemanagement.com (Madalyn Frigo)

 

McKey and Poague

Amenities: Because McKey and Poague do not own their buildings, amenities vary from building to building. Some have hardwood floors, laundry rooms and bike storage; it all depends on the building in question.

Rent Range: Studios $580-$1000; one-bedrooms $600-$1500; three-bedroom $800-$1,700; four bedroom $1,540-$1,750

Pros: McKey and Poague is a small company that’s been serving students looking for housing for over a century. They are located adjacent to the university and describe themselves as “pretty much a part of campus”-clearly, they are very eager to serve students.

Cons: The M&P website promises “constant personal contact with unit owners to bolster their continued intellectual as well as financial interest in the building.“ We don’t really know what that means either, but according to some tenants, the landlords “are in the dark ages” in terms of customer service.

User Comments: “Basically you walk into their office is straight out of the 1960s. They have no voicemail and they have no email. You can only call them during operating hours and they are closed on the weekends. If anything happens you are f***ed.”

Contact Info: McKey and Poague Real Estate Services, 1348 East 55th St. (773)363-6200. mandpoffice.com (Becky Stoner )

 

TLC

Location: Across Hyde Park; they also manage properties in a number of North Side neighborhoods

Amenities: Vary by building

Rent Range: Studio $660-805; one-bedroom $865-960; two-bedroom $1245-1280

Pros: Kudos have included an attentive and cordial maintenance staff, consistent bug spraying, excellent security, and personable managers.

Cons: Complaints have included a hefty fee for A/C installation, burned out bulbs, reluctance to fix locks, lack of reluctance to litigate, overpriced laundry machines, and malfunctioning elevators.

Notes: TLC Management Company (not to be confused with the Turner Learning Channel) is low on octuplets and the near grizzly sightings of former Alaskan Governors but high on class. At least, that’s the gist of their ads. The company recently acquired two new apartment buildings in Hyde Park, which they have classily christened The Flamingo and The Versailles.

Contacts: TLC Management Company, 100 N. LaSalle, Suite 1200. (312)553-9070. chicagorentals.com (Chris Riehle)