ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Catalyst apartments, 123 N Desplaines St, West Loop

by Joe Zekas on 8/28/13

Catalyst is a 19-story, 223-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail space and 161 on-site parking spaces. It is currently under construction at 123 N Desplaines St in the West Loop, with occupancy slated for the summer of 2014. Nearly all of the retail space has been leased to a single tenant, which is rumored to be Walgreen’s.

The project is being developed by Marquette Companies, with Brininstool + Lynch as the architect. Construction began in March of 2013 and topped out in December of 2013.

The units

Details of the building’s unit mix, floor plans and apartment finishes are not yet publicly available. Renderings of the project indicate that most of the units will have balconies.

Amenities, services, policies

Only preliminary information is available. Catalyst will have a rooftop pool and other 19th floor amenities, and a 4th floor outdoor deck.


Catalyst’s Near West Loop location has its pluses and minuses. The major plus, of course, is its close proximity to the Loop. The major minus is its distance, relative to other new apartment projects, from the thriving restaurant and club scene across the expressway to the west.

The location rates a Walker’s Paradise Walk Score of 97, and a Rider’s Paradise Transit Score of 100.

Shopping. Catalyst is within a few short blocks of a Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, WalMart Neighborhood Market 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 many more in nearby West Loop, Loop, Fulton River District and River North locations.

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 under construction and proposed in the West Loop.

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
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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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