ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Elm Street Plaza apartments, 1130 N Dearborn St, Gold Coast

by Joe Zekas on 1/21/14

Elm Street Plaza is a 33-story, 396-unit, full-amenity apartment tower in the Gold Coast. The building was completed in 1976.

The masonry-clad structure has 240 parking spaces. It was originally financed in part by the Illinois Housing Development Authority and includes a number of subsidized units.

Habitat Company was the developer, Gordon & Levin the architecture firm and McHugh Construction the general contractor.

The apartments

Elm Street Plaza has a mix of studio, 1- and 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartments in 10 different layouts.

Floor plans and a near real-time availability check are available online.

In January 2014 studios rented from $1,408, 1-bedrooms from $1,593 and 2-bedrooms from $2,337. A Proud to Serve 5% discount is offered to veterans, teachers, mail carriers, police officers and firefighters.

Most of the apartments have space-expanding floor-to-ceiling bay windows and all have good closet space. Most of the 1- and 2-bedroom units have a well-defined dining area. Some of the studios have a sleeping alcove. None of the units have balconies.

Floors are carpeted. All-electric kitchens typically have dated finishes.

The building has a 2-pipe heating and cooling system, which limits the availability of heat and air-conditioning during seasonal transitions.

Apartments lack the high ceilings, wood-look floors and in-unit washer / dryers found in the new apartment buildings – but rents are substantially lower than in those buildings.

Views. Elm Street Plaza is not a view building. Most of the view corridors, even from high floors, are constricted by neighboring buildings.

Amenities, services, policies

Elm Street Plaza has a limited but decent suite of amenities.

There’s an outdoor pool and sundeck, and a landscaped garden area with gas grills. Exposure to the sun is limited by adjacent buildings.

Elm Street Plaza has a ground-level fitness room adjacent to the garden. The building has a laundry room, on-site dry-cleaning and storage lockers on each floor.

Reserved parking is available for $230 a month in the on-site garage. Vintage buildings in the area lack on-site parking, and parking in the area is scarce and expensive.

The building has on-site leasing and management staff, and 24/7 door staff. Cats are welcome; dogs aren’t.

The location

Elm Street Plaza is in a very attractive, steps-to-everything location on a tree-lined street with a neighborhood feel. Any attempt to describe the richness and variety of the immediate area, which has strong appeal to all age groups, is bound to fall short.

Shopping. Residents of Elm Street Plaza have convenient access to several major grocery stores, in addition to the popular seasonal farmers market on Division St.

Treasure Island, which bills itself as “America’s most European supermarket,” is immediately adjacent to the property.

Jewel Foods, a short block north and another short block west, is open 6 am to midnight 6 days a week and 24 hours Sunday.


The new, upscale Plum Market is a few blocks west on Wells St, just north of Division. A new Target recently opened on Division St, half a mile west. A number of convenience stores and delis are near the building.

CVS and Walgreens pharmacies are a short block west and north, respectively.


Glamorous Oak Street boutiques and Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile shops and Water Tower Place are a few minutes’ walk from the building.

Dining, nightlife. One of the densest, most interesting restaurant and nightlife clusters in Chicago – what some call the Viagra Triangle – is a short block east of Elm Street Plaza.


Locals just call it “the triangle,” after the shape of Mariano Park.


A short block north of the building is the storied Division Street nightlife strip, home to Bootleggers, the legendary Butch McGuire’s and more than a dozen other establishments.

Parks, recreation. Residents at Elm Street Plaza have good access to a variety of parks and recreational activities.

Oak Street Beach, with its spectacular views of the Lake Shore Drive skyline, is two short blocks east.

The fabulous 1,200-acre Lincoln Park, home to the Zoo, Conservatory, North Avenue Beach and a host of playing fields and other attractions, is half a mile north.

Washington Square Park, a tranquil gem, is a few blocks south of Elm Street Plaza, and Seward Park is a few blocks west for more active recreation.

Resident kids and their visiting friends will head for Goudy Square Playlot on landmark-laden Astor Street, a few minutes’ walk from Elm Street Plaza.

Transportation. Public transportation is excellent.

The CTA Red Line stop at Clark and Division is a block north and west.

A variety of CTA bus routes criss-cross the area along Division, State and LaSalle Streets.

Access to I-90/94 and the rest of the city’s expressway grid can be slow along Division St during peak hours. If you’re southbound or headed for the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), Ontario St is a better option.

Several ZipCar locations are nearby. Taxis swarm the area 24/7.

The competition

Direct competitors for Elm Street Plaza include 1133 North Dearborn and 1111 North Dearborn.

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

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.

Elm Street Plaza in the news

More recent items are listed first.

  • Mixed bag for subsidized renters
  • Share your take on Elm Street Plaza

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