ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Echelon apartments, 353 N Desplaines St, Fulton River District

by Joe Zekas on 12/3/13

Echelon at K Station is a 350-unit, 36-story luxury, full-amenity apartment tower at 353 N Desplaines St in Chicago’s Fulton River District. The building has a 287-space parking garage.

Fifield Companies developed Echelon. McHugh Construction was the general contractor and Pappageorge Haymes the architecture firm.

Echelon was completed in 2008 as the second building in the 2,145-unit K Station development. The building presented a series of engineering challenges due to its proximity to two live subway tunnels that run beneath its parking garage.

The apartments

Echelon’s unit mix includes studio, 1- and 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartments.

Floor plans and near real-time availability information are accessible online. In early December of 2013 available studios started at $1,656, 1-bedrooms at $1,803 and 2-bedroom, 2-bath units at $2,349.


Units have a high level of finishes, including large expanses of windows, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and in-unit washer / dryers. Two-bedroom apartments have private balconies. Some plans have a “work alcove” that can function as a home office.


Bedrooms and baths are generously-sized. The apartments have good closet space and most have walk-ins. Studio apartments have a nicely-defined sleeping area.



Views. The openness of Echelon’s location provides outstanding skyline views to the north, south and east.

Amenities, services, policies

Echelon’s extensive common-area amenities are all located on the lobby level.

Residents can gather or host events in large lounge and party areas with flat-panel TVs, a pool table and a service kitchen.

Echelon has a fully-equipped fitness center with views over the adjacent park.


The fitness center leads to a spacious outdoor deck with skyline views, a large pool with private cabanas, and a fire pit.

Stainless-steel grilling stations and table seating are available in an alcove off the lounge.

Echelon has on-site leasing and management staff, and 24/7 door staff. The building hosts a regular series of on- and off-site events that enable residents to meet one another and learn about their neighborhood.

The building is pet-friendly, subject to limits, and hosts an annual “doggie dip” to mark the end of the pool season.

Location

Echelon’s west-of-the-river location is easily misunderstood: it’s far more convenient and lively than is apparent from a superficial look.

The building’s keystone location affords residents quick access to River North, River West and the West Loop.

Shopping
Echelon has good access to grocery shopping.

Echelon is directly across the street from a strip center that includes a new, heavily-reviewed Jewel-Osco, a Radio Shack, a Pet Stuff, a Chase bank branch, a Hair Cuttery, a cleaners and a nail salon.

Other major grocers near Echelon include Mariano’s and Walmart.

There’s a dearth of retail shopping near Echelon in the Fulton River District and West Loop, but the building has good access via Halsted St to the retail clusters in the Clybourn Corridor and along Roosevelt Road, and via Grand Ave to Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile shops.

Dining, nightlife
The thriving restaurant and nightlife scenes in Greektown, River North and the West Loop are all within a few minutes of Echelon.

The heart of Randolph Street’s restaurant row, boasting some of Chicago’s hottest attractions, is less than a 10-minute walk from Echelon.

Bucktown and Wicker Park are minutes away by cab, bike or Blue Line trains.

Some of the more popular dining and nightlife venues in the immediate area include Carnivale, Jefferson Tap & Grille, Piccolo Sogno Italian restaurant, the Paramount Room and Iguana Café.

There are many, many more nearby options, including Blue Agave, directly across from Echelon on Kinzie St.

Parks, recreation
Fulton River Park is immediately adjacent to Echelon, on the north side of the building.


The park is a neighborhood gathering spot that has a pet-friendly area, a playground and a gently-sloped lawn.

Movies in the Parks draw a crowd on summer nights.

Kayak rentals are available at a number of locations for residents who want a closer look at the nearby Chicago River.

Transportation. Echelon has good access to public transportation. It’s just a few blocks from the CTA’s Grand Ave Blue Line station, which is also served by four CTA bus lines. The Blue Line provides direct access to O’Hare Airport and west-suburban Oak Park and Forest Park.

The Pink and Green Line stop at Clinton St is about a 6-minute walk. Echelon is less than a 10-minute walk from Metra’s Ogilvie Transportation Center and the adjoining Chicago French Market.


Echelon is adjacent to a protected bike lane path that provides quick access to River North, the Loop, Wicker Park and Bucktown.

A number of CTA bus routes serve the area.

Zipcar rentals are available across the street at Jewel.

Echelon has quick access to I-90/94 via the Ontario / Ohio on / off ramps and Randolph St.

The competition

Echelon’s most direct competitors are the nearby K Station rental buildings, K2, Alta and Left Bank, and Hubbard Place in River North.

You might also consider condos for rent in Fulton River District and West Loop buildings – they’re occasionally available at sharply lower rents than you’ll find in the rental buildings, in part because they don’t offer comparable amenities packages.

See YoChicago’s Guide to renting in Chicago’s Near West neighborhoods and our at-a-glance list of downtown apartments for additional options and tips.

Echelon in the news

More recent items are listed first.

  • Fulton River District tower sold
  • Fifield lands $77 million loan for apartment tower
  • Developers to begin construction on Echelon apartment building
  • Meet Steven Fifield
  • A train runs through it
  • Share your take on Echelon Apartments

    If you live at or have visited Echelon Apartments, 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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