Renting a place here is a competitive process. Because it's in one of the most sought-after locales in the city, landlords and management companies can afford to be picky. You'll likely need good references, ample income and excellent credit or a qualified co-signer to find an apartment in the Loop. The good news is that you have a lot of rental property options. This is a fast-paced, crowded urban area, so you won't find many detached single-family rental homes outside of the very southern tip of the loop. However, row houses and high rises are plentiful.
Chicago is similar to a Russian Doll, with small enclaves nestled inside of the individual areas in the city. Somehow, the Loop manages to fit four distinct neighborhoods in only 1.5 square miles.
New Eastside: Enclosed by Michigan Avenue, Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago River, the New Eastside features high-end condos and apartments. These are some of the priciest properties in the city. Much of the new development is here, and the skyline is dominated by high rises. In addition to traditional apartments, you can find short-term serviced apartments in the New Eastside as well. This district also contains much of the Loop's restaurants and entertainment venues.
Printer's Row: This area includes the Chicago River to the west, Polk Street to the south, and Congress Parkway to the north. Printer's Row features older properties from the late 1800s to early 1900s. As the name implies, it was once the city's location for publishing and printing houses. Nowadays, the commercial buildings have been converted into residential space, and loft apartments are the most common type of housing available.
South Loop: South Loop has become one of the fastest-growing areas of the city. It covers the area from Congress Parkway to around 26th street. Much of the factory and warehouse space as well as the vacant land that occupied the rail yards is now being developed as residential lofts, townhomes and high-rise apartments. You can find most of the Loop's detached single family homes, including 3 bedroom houses for rent, at the southern end of this region.
Historic Michigan Boulevard District: The Historic Michigan Boulevard District lies on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and 11th Streets. This area is more commercial than residential, but you can still snag a high-end condo or loft apartment rental around here.
Like most downtown areas, the Loop is highly walkable and anything you could ever need is probably within a few blocks. You can also take advantage of Chicago's public transportation system, which runs throughout the Loop. The Pedway provides pedestrians with five miles of tunnels and covered overpasses that connect the entire area, so you don't have to brave Chicago's infamous wind when you're hoofing it around town.
Residents in the Loop will never want for things to do. As far as entertainment, shopping on State Street, music at the Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performances at the Joffrey Ballet, and plays at the Goodman Theater are all available in the Loop. Cyclists will appreciate the bike paths that run along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Finally, Grand Park on the lakefront offers open recreational space, free summer concerts, and the annual Taste of Chicago festival.