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These Pricey, Pint-Sized Rentals Come With Extravagant Extras

The city is currently experiencing an apartment boom, with developers expected to deliver thousands of new rental units in the next two years. In order to compete for future tenants' dollars, developers are adding in luxury amenities previously never seen in apartment buildings. Today, the standard theater room and fitness center may not be enough to stand out from the crowd, and many new high-end apartment developments boast landscaped rooftop decks, dog spas, outdoor swimming pools and even private clubs. Here are a few buildings that feature tiny (but pricey) apartment units and loads of amenities.

500 Lake Shore Drive
Smallest unit: 550 square feet
Price starts at: $1,825/month
The skinny: Located in Streeterville, 500 Lake Shore Drive sits next door to Navy Pier and offers unobstructed views of Lake Michigan. Having opened just about two years ago, the 500 unit building has a spread of different floor plans, including some that span just 550 square feet. Being a relatively new building still, the tower is loaded with luxury amenities that include a theater room, a landscaped deck, rooftop pool, fitness center, a full-service pet spa and a 27,000 square foot amenity space dubbed Club 500.

[Photo by Nick Fochtman]
Smallest unit: 538 square feet
Price starts at: $1,980/month
The skinny: The Loop's OneEleven opened last summer, and remains one of the newest and priciest apartment towers in Chicago. Its smallest units have a 538 square foot floor plan, but the building boast some impressive extras. Similar to 500 LSD, OneEleven features a theater room, a fitness center, a club-like lounge space and full service pet spa. In addition to these amenities, the Handel Architects-designed tower also has a billiards room, a large multi-tier outdoor deck and an indoor pool with a retractable wall that opens to the deck.
AMLI Lofts
Smallest unit: 522 square feet
Price starts at: $1,741/month
The skinny: AMLI has developments all over the country, but its AMLI Lofts project in the South Loop is its latest addition to Chicago. And as its name suggests, the units have a raw, open, industrial loft-like vibe to them. Amenities include a 24 hour lounge with TVs, billiards and foosball, a tech lounge with a private meeting space, a fitness center, a pool and a landscaped outdoor deck space.

[Photo by Nick Fochtman]
Halsted Flats
Smallest unit: 520 square feet
Price starts at: Not listed (though one bedrooms start at $1,860)
The skinny: The next stop takes us up to Lakeview where the new Halsted Flats development is located. The building sports downtown luxury apartment amenities, but in the heart of the North Side. Halsted Flats sports heaps of outdoor green space, a club room, a private dog park and an outdoor pool.

Smallest unit: 481 square feet
Price starts at: $1,680/month
The skinny: Similar to the other newer apartment towers competing for Chicago renters' dollars, K2 sports some pretty impressive amenities. It's got a basketball court, yoga studio, a so-called "business center," a theater room and a very large outdoor dog run.

Presidential Towers
Smallest unit: 471 square feet
Price starts at: $1,320/month
The skinny: And finally we end up in the West Loop at Presidential Towers. The four-tower megaproject is far from new, but it did recently undergo a renovation that overhauled its common areas, amenities spaces as well as its 2,346 apartment units. And of all the major downtown apartment developments, Presidential Towers has some of the smallest, coming in at a scant 471 square feet. Amenities include a media room, a children's play area and a rooftop deck with a outdoor barbeque and picnic area. Because the development is so large, it boasts a variety of ground-level retailers, restaurants and other commercial tenants, including a two-level Fitness Formula Club location.

·Micro Week archives [Curbed Chicago]