Sweet Chicago Rental: Luxe Green Living for $1,977

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Your next apartment building could look like a giant wave.

No, this is not a futuristic fantasy or some outlandish design plan that's never going to be realized. At one of Chicago's newest green, full-amenity buildings, Aqua, units are now available for rent with studios starting at $1,531 and 1-bedroom apartments beginning around $1,977. The economy changed plans for the state-of-the-art residential highrise meaning the condos that developers intended to sell are being leased out instead.

Designed by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang (it's the tallest building in the world built by a woman), Aqua's genius is in the ripple effect created through incongruous balconies on every level. Every apartment in this New Eastside area skyscraper boasts a balcony and each one is unique in shape and size.

But Aqua doesn't just project the aesthetics of natural elements. It also proves that eco-conscious living can coexist with luxury. Read on to see how to live in green-inspired comfort.


A host of attributes, which make this new building on Chicago's skyline, exciting for green living enthusiasts:

  • It's the first in Chicago to have public electric charging stations for cars.
  • Designers used low-e tinted glass (which works by either absorbing or reflecting heat energy) to reduce the amount of heat and air conditioning used.
  • Aqua is the city's largest recreation rooftop offering three pools and a running track.
  • The community runs recycling programs as well as clothing and furniture drives for residents to donate gently-used items.
  • To be shared with neighboring highrises, the developers created a 6-acre park with a playground made from recycled tires.

The studios run 571 square feet at $1,531 a month; "convertibles" (essentially a small one-bedroom with no door on the bedroom) are 564 square feet for $1,626 a month; one bedrooms are 734 square feet for $1,977; and two bedrooms run 1,080 square feet for $2,900.

It's not just the hippie, tree-hugging types seeking out green living communities like Aqua. With granite counters, personal balconies and lower electric bills, who wouldn't want to surf this wave?

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