ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Catalyst apartments, 123 N Desplaines St, West Loop

by Joe Zekas on 11/10/14

Catalyst is a 19-story, 223-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail space and 161 on-site parking spaces.

Catalyst is located at 123 N Desplaines St in the West Loop. Construction began in March of 2013 and the building opened for occupancy in the summer of 2014.

Catalyst was developed by Marquette Companies, with Brininstool + Lynch as the architect.

The apartments

Catalyst has a mix of convertible, 1-, 1+den, 2- and 3-bedrooom apartments. Two-bedrooms have two baths and 3-bedrooms have three. One-bedroom and larger apartments have private balconies.

In early November 2014 convertibles rented from $1,800, 1-bedrooms from $2,245, 2-bedrooms from $2,930 and 3-bedrooms from $4,480.

The apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows, plank flooring, in-unit washer / dryers and kitchens with gas ranges and stainless steel appliances. Some layouts have double-bowl vanities and stall showers. One-bedroom and larger units have balconies.

Amenities, services, policies

Catalyst has a full suite of amenities.

There’s a rooftop pool and sundeck, with “fire features,” TVs, lounge areas and BBQ grills. The building’s fitness room is also on the roof.

Additional amenities include a demonstration kitchen, a resident lounge with billiards table, a “tech center” with copier / fax / scanner, and a bicycle storage area.

Catalyst is smoke-free. The building is pet-friendly, subject to limits. The building has a private dog run and an indoor pet wash facility.

The building has on-site leasing and management staff, and 24/7 door staff. There are 161 parking spaces in the on-site garage.


Catalyst’s West Loop location affords residents good walk-to proximity to Loop and West Loop office clusters. The location also has easy access to restaurants and nightlife venues.

Shopping. Catalyst is within a few short blocks of a Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, WalMart Neighborhood Market, a Whole Foods opening early in 2015, and the French Market at metramarket, which includes a CVS Pharmacy.

Dining. There are dozens of restaurants within a few blocks’ radius of Catalyst, and more in nearby West Loop, Loop, Fulton River District and River North locations.

Randolph Street’s restaurant row, a Chicagoland destination dining spot dense with foodie venues, is a short walk west of Catalyst.

Parks, recreation. Green space is scarce in this part of the West Loop.

The nearest park, Heritage Green, is a one-acre passive green space that offers little in the way of recreational opportunities. A few benches provide a shady outdoor respite with a view of Old St Patrick’s Church, home to what’s billed as the world’s largest block party.

Transportation. Catalyst’s location has excellent access to the city’s expressway grid.

Metra’s Ogilvie Transportation Center is 3 short blocks to the northeast and Union Station is 5 blocks to the southeast.

A number of CTA bus lines criss-cross the area. The nearby Clinton stop on the CTA’s Green and Pink Lines provides access to points west, to the Loop, and connections to other CTA train lines.


Catalyst is one of a number of new apartment projects in the West Loop and nearby Fulton River District.

Existing apartment buildings in the immediate area of Catalyst include Presidential Towers and 180 North Jefferson. Consult YoChicago’s list of downtown apartment projects for additional options.

In the news

Articles on Catalyst from various sites:

  • Construction underway on Catalyst
  • Catalyst breaks ground
  • Un-arrested development: The Catalyst
  • Marquette plans apartments in West Loop
  • Share your take on Catalyst

    If you’ve lived at or visited Catalyst, and are not a real estate broker, share your thoughts in a comment. Comments are moderated and commercial messages and comments from real estate agents are not allowed.

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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    David August 28, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    I saw a guy walking around the site in a Walgreen’s shirt and hard hat, so I think the rumors about Walgreen’s being the tenant are likely true.


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