Amenities Help Sell Catalyst, The Sleek New West Loop Rental Building


When I moved into my West Loop apartment in 2011, a cool view of the city skyline from the roof—and propane BBQ grills up there—seemed like great add-ons to a living space with high ceilings and stainless appliances.

Catalyst-6Three years later, the latest rental developments make our place seem positively spartan. Every new high-rise apartment building now boasts more and better amenities. A perfect example is Marquette Companies’ gleaming new Catalyst. The 123 North Des Plaines creation rolled out the red carpet for a tour and grand opening last week.

Some of the highlights of the Brininstool+Lynch-designed 19-story, 223-unit building:

  • A clubroom with pool table
  • Rooftop pool
  • Terrace on the 4th floor with BBQ grills
  • Indoor dog run and pet wash
  • Demo kitchen
  • Zen garden

Catalyst-2I think it was Confucius who said “Zen isn’t free.” Or maybe it was “Please pass the sweet and sour shrimp.” At any rate, rentals at Catalyst range from $2,010/month for a 594 sq. ft. 1 bedroom studio to $4,460/month for a 1,570 sq. ft. 3 bedroom/3 bath unit.

The views are great from the apartments and are breathtaking from the 19th floor pool area. That area also has a number of fire pits, which will probably extend the season for rooftop hanging out well beyond the summer months.

Those details were part of the plan to create a unique living space, said Darren Sloniger, president of Marquette Companies.

“It’s called catalyst because we were trying to regenerate the West Loop,” Sloniger said. “Back when we started the project (in 2010), everybody thought we were pretty crazy because the West Loop hadn’t yet materialized. We had an opportunity to create excellence and an amenity package that’s off the hook.”

Location: 123 North Des Plaines Street, West Loop

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at

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