Jul 1, 2023 - Real Estate

Inside the newly renovated Belden-Stratford in Lincoln Park

A view of the Chicago skyline on a sunny day from the roof of the Belden-Stratford.

An epic view from the Belden-Stratford's rooftop. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

For decades, I've fantasized about living in Lincoln Park's historic Belden-Stratford, mostly while waiting for friends to show up for dinner at its anchor restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi (and Un Grand Cafe before that).

What's happening: This month I got to see what the apartments upstairs are like during the grand reopening of the 100-year-old Beaux Arts building after extensive renovations.

The basics: The 16-story building overlooking Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory features 209 luxury apartments, with studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units as well as penthouses.

  • Rents range from $2,500 for a studio to $15,000 for a penthouse. The property is currently 45% leased and 40% occupied, and the developers expect to fill up the building by the end of the year.
A queen grey bed is centered on a colorful rug, with a view of the closet space in a new unit at the Belden-Stratford.
A furnished two-bedroom unit. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

The backstory: Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto, who lived in the building in the 1980s, bought the building in 2020 and spent the last three years renovating it, including a breathtaking makeover of the gilded lobby and lounge where his old apartment was located.

New amenities: A fitness center in the former ballroom, a media lounge, a wine tasting room, wine storage facilities, a rooftop sundeck with skyline views, grilling stations and seating areas.

Ellipticals and treadmills stand in a row, facing two large floor-to-ceiling grid windows.
Cardio in the former ballroom space. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

What they're saying: "This restoration has been a labor of love for everyone involved, and we're incredibly proud to reintroduce the building as a graceful mix of old and new that ensures The Belden-Stratford will be a one-of-a-kind residential building in Chicago for many years to come," Ari Glass, head of real estate for investment firm Mansueto Office, said in a statement.

💭 Thought bubble: The apartments I toured combined classic old bones, including 9-foot ceilings, with modern touches like open-concept kitchens. But with square footage ranging from 483 to 1,689, the places felt a little small.

  • If I lived there, I'd probably spend much of my time on that breathtaking rooftop and in that gorgeous lobby.
The gold gilded ceiling of the Belden-Stratford, with three large cascading chandeliers hanging.
The gilded ceiling in the lobby. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

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