I used to think the coolest place to live in the South Loop would be on the lowest floor--facing north--of The Grant on Roosevelt Road at the south end of Grant Park. (The official address is 1201 S. Prairie. Avenue.) Why the lowest floor? Because gazing through the big glassy windows of one of those low floor one-bedroom condo units--or better yet, relaxing on the balcony of same--would be like having a small single family home right on Grant Park. A novelty? Uh...yeah!
That's until I got over there recently for a tour and my allegiance changed.
I went to a lower floor unit on a private elevator that went to just the lower floor units. Which is pretty cool in itself. And got a gander from the inside out onto Grant Park. Yes, I was right. It was like having a small house on Grant Park. With good views of the South Michigan Avenue Street Wall, the Metra and South Shore Electric trains that go to the south suburbs and Michigan City, respectively. Not to mention Hutchinson Field and beyond, towards the high-rise building "bookends" on the north end of Grant Park.
In fact, the lower floor units are so "house-like" there isn't even the standard high-rise incincerator for garbage. Residents just take the trash out to a room in the back of the hall and it gets picked up by building employees.
But then I went upstairs. And my thinking turned upside down. Literally. I saw a three-bedroom (with a family room), 3,000-square-foot unit on a high floor and I said to myself: "Are you crazy? Why would you want to look at Grant Park from a low floor when you can look at Grant Park (not to mention Lake Michigan and a good part of the South Loop) from a high floor? And have a really roomy house in the Grant Park sky!" Good question.
The real reason for my tour was not to turn my predilection from low to high or anything like that. Because a roughly $2,000,000 price tag for the huge high corner model was a bit high of a price tag, to say the least. My visit was instead geared for me to get a gander at how The Grant (which does have units in the $300's, as well) has come together--with all sorts of new decorating in the common areas and all sorts of added upgrades for the residents--under a company called Related Midwest, which has perked up the building in all kinds of ways to perk up sales.
Let me count the ways herein: 1) a totally huge and very upscale clubby party room (and across the hall catering kitchen) to die for that overlooks Grant Park; 2) high end artwork everywhere including artist Aspen Mays' "Every Leaf on a Tree" in the lobby; 3) a gorgeous children's playroom stocked to the hilt for the kids, the grandkids or the kids you might be babysitting for to earn extra cash to live in such luxury; and 4) a pool, huge beautiful deck, valet, dog sitter, virtual concierge, screening room, business center and exercise room, all like you wouldn't believe.
And every unit--no matter what the size or price--has a view of the lake.
Yes, the building is constructed in such a way that even southwest facing units have a view of the lake. Can't figure that one out? Go see. You might conclude your visit as a new homeowner with a home--high up or low down--on Grant Park. With--for absolutely certain--a view of the lake.