The grand old Lake Shore Athletic Club, which has sat empty for nine years and was threatened with demolition during the building-boom years, is getting back in the game this month as a luxury apartment building. A handful of tenants have moved in, and @Properties leasing agent Kathleen Ullo says tenants who sign leases by February 1—that’s two days from now—will get one month of free rent.

The elegant 19-story lakefront building designed by Jarvis Hunt dates to 1927, during the heyday of private clubs. It became part of Northwestern University in 1977, but the school closed it in 2005. A skirmish over preserving it or replacing it ensued, and in 2008, the firm Integrated Development Group announced plans to fill it with high-end senior housing. After a setback in the downtown senior housing market, the developer in 2012 shifted the plan to luxury apartments, which is a hotly competitive field right now.

“We appeal to people who want that stately, elegant living,” Ullo says. “There are a lot of towers with 500 apartments and floor-to-ceiling windows, but somebody who wants an apartment in a building with character and history will come to us.”

Monthly rents range from $1,900 for a studio to $12,000 for a two-story apartment with three bedrooms. Click through the photos below to learn more about the building.