ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Chestnut Tower apartments, 121 W Chestnut St, Near North Side

by Joe Zekas on 12/9/13

Chestnut Tower is a 230-unit, 36-story apartment high-rise on Chicago’s Near North Side.

Chestnut Tower was completed in 2000. It was the last apartment tower built in Chicago in the 20th century and marked an end to a nearly 10-year drought of new apartment construction on Chicago’s Near North Side.

A joint venture between Nicholas Jannes and the Berman Wettig Group was the developer and PPKS Architects was the architecture firm.

The apartments

Chestnut Tower has ten different studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. Two-bedroom apartments have two full baths and three-bedrooms have three baths. The building has no more than 8 units per floor.

Floor plans and near real-time availability information can be accessed online. In early December 2013 rents started at $1,715 for available studios, $1,885 for one-bedrooms, $2,740 for two-bedrooms and $4,975 for three-bedrooms.

Units are offered in “classic” or “renovated” finish packages. The renovated units include hardwood floors in living areas and upgraded kitchens and baths. The renovated baths have larger than typical vanities with drawers.

All-electric kitchens are open to the living areas and have generous cabinet and counter space. Renovated kitchens have granite counters, stainless steel appliances and glass tile backsplashes.


One of the two available two-bedroom layouts has the split-bedroom plan that’s more popular with roommates and people who office at home. This “C1″ plan has a master suite that qualifies as a retreat. It’s large enough to accommodate a king-size bed, large furniture and a separate seating area. Windows along two walls add to the spacious feel.

All of the apartments have good closet space and in-unit washer / dryers.

Ceiling heights are nearly nine feet. None of the units have balconies or other private outdoor space.

Views. The building has enough separation from nearby high-rises to have relatively unbroken views in every direction, especially from higher floors.

The dramatic south views of the skyline will take a hit from a new 36-story apartment tower that’s slated for the northeast corner of Chicago and LaSalle, immediately south of the building.

Southeast corner units have the best views.

Amenities, services, policies

Chestnut Tower lacks a pool but otherwise has a good suite of amenities. Common area amenities are slated to undergo a makeover beginning in the summer of 2014 despite the fact that they’re already reasonably attractive.

A number of the building’s amenities are adjacent to the lobby.

Equipment in the first-floor fitness room is scheduled for updating.

There’s a nicely-equipped business center with a coffee station.

The building has an on-site dry cleaner.


There’s access from the lobby to the large, private dog park.


The rooftop level has a sun deck with sweeping views of the city skyline and an adjacent resident lounge.

Chestnut Tower has an attached garage that offers reserved parking spaces.

Management and leasing staff are on-site, and the building has 24/7 door staff. Cats and dogs are welcome, subject to limits.

The location

The building has a strong Near North Side location close to public transit and daily conveniences.

Chestnut Tower is a block north of River North, and a few blocks south of the Gold Coast and west of Streeterville.

The Chicago campus of Moody Bible Institute, which has over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, is directly across LaSalle St from Chestnut Tower. The majority of the students live on campus.

Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business is three blocks east of Chestnut Tower. The former Montgomery Ward catalog warehouse, now home to the corporate headquarters of Groupon and Dyson, is a half mile west of the building.

Shopping. Residents of Chestnut Tower enjoy convenient access to grocery shopping.

Walmart Express, which has a pharmacy, is two blocks west on Chicago Ave.

There’s a locally-owned Potash Markets a few blocks east. Whole Foods is a few blocks southeast.

A number of convenience stores are nearby and Jewel, Plum Market and a new Target are not far away, as are a number of Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.

The River North Gallery District, shrunken by the economy in recent years, is just south of Chestnut Tower and remains a scene worth visiting.


The 900 North Michigan shops, anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile shops, and Water Tower Place and Oak Street boutiques are all within a 10-minute walk of Chestnut Tower.

Dining, nightlife. Chestnut Tower residents are a few minutes’ walk from scores of popular dining and nightlife options in River North and the Gold Coast. They can avoid the crowds and explore the more relaxed scene closer to home in the 700 blocks of Clark, LaSalle and Wells, just south of the building.

Café Iberico on LaSalle is known for its tapas, and for an outstanding selection of affordable wines.


Nearby Clark St venues include Zed 451, 25 Degrees, the Clark Street Ale House and Fedora Lounge.


The 700 block of Wells St hosts Brehon Pub, Prosecco, Karyn’s Cooked and the ever-popular Yolk.

Two short blocks west of Chestnut Tower mk serves up new American fare and Kiki’s Bistro offers some of Chicago’s best French food. Both are housed in great loft spaces.

Parks, recreation. Residents of Chestnut Tower have limited access to parks and recreational opportunities.

Washington Square Park, a tranquil oasis just north and east of Chestnut Tower, is the only public park within a 10-minute walk of the building.

Transportation. Public transportation from the location is excellent.


Chestnut Tower is a 5-6 minute walk from the Brown / Purple Line stop at Franklin and Chicago and the Red Line stop at State and Chicago.

A variety of CTA bus routes run on LaSalle St outside the building and along Chicago Ave, Clark St and State St near the property.

The location has fairly quick access to I-90/94 and the city’s expressway grid via the Ontario St / Ohio St on / off ramps.

A Zipcar car-sharing location is less than a block away. Taxi service is available 24/7.

The competition

As you might expect, there are a number of apartments in the immediate area. You’ll find additional tips and options at YoChicago’s Guide to renting on Chicago’s Near North Side and our at-a-glance list of Near North apartments.

Rentals are typically available in a number of nearby condo buildings, sometimes at sharply lower rents than in the managed apartment buildings.

Chestnut Tower in the news

More recent items are listed first.

  • Chestnut Tower rides high on pent-up rental demand
  • Share your take on Chestnut Tower

    If you’ve lived at or visited Chestnut Tower, and are not a real estate agent, add your thoughts in a comment. Comments are moderated, and commercial messages are not allowed.

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