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chi-E2 FitzGerald-designed E2 Apartments, a 353-unit high-rise apartment tower in downtown Evanston, IL, that opened in April 2015 and has a deck that almost spans a complete block.

CHICAGO—Developers are launching new luxury apartment developments at a vigorous pace in many of the nation’s largest cities. That means the competition to attract and retain tenants is going to get intense. And many developers and designers say they are working harder than ever to make their properties distinctive, with amenities at the forefront.

All owners want something unique but marketable, and finding the correct mix is now more challenging as the wave of new luxury rental properties now hitting the market has helped change the profile of renters. In the past, renters were typically those that did not have the financial means to own a home. But today’s luxury apartment communities are home to individuals who choose to rent rather than own, and many want the kind of amenities found in five-star hotels.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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