Grand Plaza apartments, 540 N State St, River North

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Grand Plaza, 540 N State St, is a 56-story, 481-unit apartment tower in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

Grand Plaza is the east tower of an original two-tower full-block development, completed in 2003, that also includes more than 100,000 square feet of retail space and a 1,000-car parking garage. The 37-story, 283-unit west tower was converted to condominiums and shares the amenities level with Grand Plaza.

Magellan Development and U.S. Equities developed the property. OWP/P and Loewenberg + Associates were the architects.

The apartments

Grand Plaza’s 481 apartments include 30 different studio, convertible, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom floor plans.

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

The building’s configuration results in fairly efficient floor plans, a number of which have angled walls that avoid the living-in-a-shoebox effect. The units have open floor plans, with kitchen islands and in-unit washer / dryers. Appliances are stainless steel and include built-in microwaves, gas ranges, dishwashers and refrigerators with ice-makers.

All of the floor plans include balconies that are larger than you’ll find in most high-rises. The apartments themselves are relatively spacious. Units typically include walk-in closets but do not include hardwood floors.

Short-term furnished rentals in the building are available from ExecuStay, Habitat Corporate Suites, Manilow Suites and Suite Home Chicago.

Views. The building’s large, relatively open site, provides good skyline views from many of the apartments.

Current zoning restrictions in River North should ensure the preservation of the building’s views for some time.

Amenities, services, policies

Grand Plaza has an extensive amenities package on its sprawling 9th floor decks.

A large landscaped area on the north side of the building has putting greens, a running track and a variety of seating areas.

The pool deck, on the southwest side of the building, receives sun throughout the day.

There are shaded areas, tables and stainless steel grills in an area near the pool.

A large fitness center is adjacent to a skylit basketball court that has higher ceilings than are found in most high-rise b-ball facilities.

For year-round swimming there’s a resistance pool and an adjacent whirlpool.

A café is adjacent to a library area, for quiet time or business meetings. A party room, billed as Club 9, with a variety of games and big-screen TVs, is available for residents to gather or host events.

There are 1,000 parking spaces in the attached garage.

Anyone setting up an apartment for the first time in Chicago will appreciate the fact that Bed Bath & Beyond is in the building.

Grand Plaza has on-site management, maintenance and leasing staff. The building is pet-friendly, subject to limits.

The location

Grand Plaza has a genuine walk-to-everything location. The scene directly outside the building is vibrant and alive with pedestrian activity.

The east central River North location affords residents good proximity to Streeterville and to the Loop.

Walk Score gives the location a “Walker’s Paradise” rating of 95 and a “Rider’s Paradise” transit score of 100. The Walk Score is probably understated – other properties with fewer nearby conveniences inexplicably rate higher scores.

Shopping. Grocery shopping doesn’t get any more convenient. There is a Jewel supermarket in the building that has been recently updated but has received mixed reviews at Yelp.

Whole Foods’ misnamed “Gold Coast store” is a few short blocks north in a River North location.

A number of convenience stores are nearby, as are a number of Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.

The Shops at North Bridge, 50 stores and 20 restaurants anchored by Nordstrom, are just east of Grand Plaza. Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile shops are a short walk away.

Oak Street boutiques are half a mile north of Grand Plaza. Macy’s and other State Street shops are a half-mile south.

The River North Gallery District has suffered along with the economy in recent years but remains a thriving art scene. Home furniture and design shops are abundant in the neighborhood.

Dining, nightlife. What can you say about a restaurant and nightlife scene that numbers well over 100 venues within a 5-minute walk? River North has a surfeit of dining and drinking options and Grand Plaza’s location is near the epicenter of it all.

Redeye’s River North Guide is a good introduction to what’s available, from rooftop bars to celebrity-chef restaurants to subterranean lounges.

A tourist-oriented restaurant cluster, with Rainforest Café, Portillo’s, Hard Rock Café, Rock N Roll McDonald’s and more, is just west of Grand Plaza.

Grand Plaza is also within walking distance of the dense restaurant and nightlife cluster that some call the Viagra Triangle, an area that derives its name from the shape of Mariano Park.

Parks, recreation. Grand Plaza comes up short on convenient access to public park space.

The expanding Chicago Riverwalk is four short blocks south of the property. It’s a fun scene with water taxis and a wide variety of dining options.

Transportation. Access to public transportation is outstanding. The CTA Red Line stop at Grand Ave is just outside the building.

CTA bus routes along State St and Grand Ave are steps from the property, and other bus lines are within two blocks.

The location has relatively quick access to I-90/94 and the city’s expressway grid via the Ontario St / Ohio St on / off ramps. Zipcar and I-Go car sharing locations are nearby. Taxi service is continually available 24/7.

The competition

You’ll find additional options at YoChicago’s comprehensive River North apartment guide.

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

Share your take on Grand Plaza

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

Grand Plaza

Address 540 N State St
City Chicago
# of Units 481
Pets Cats and dogs OK, subject to limits
Parking 1,000-car on-site garage
Completed 2003
Management DK Living
Website Grand Plaza

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