Ghost of Hervé Villechaize Guides West Loop Developers to Des Plaines! Des Plaines!

Rendering of 165 North Des Plaines

Rendering of 165 North Des Plaines

Over the weekend, the ol’ Chicago Architecture Tip Line was visited a number of times by more than one Easter Bunny, who each contributed a piece of chocolate-coated puzzle to help us figure out where the West Loop’s next development will be.

The answer is 165 North Des Plaines* Street, where a 14-story building is going to rise.  And soon.

In fact, demolition to prepare for the project is going to start next week, according to a memo sent around to the residents of the skyscraper next door at 180 North Jefferson.  It involves removing the one-story western extension of 156 North Jefferson to make room for the new Des Plaines-facing tower.  One fifty-six will also get some love, and be renovated into residences as part of the redevelopment plan.

Hervé Villechaize

Hervé Villechaize now runs a posthumous real estate consulting company. And if you don’t know who Hervé Villechaize is, get off my lawn you whippersnapper!

How so quick?  Well, the demolition permit was issued last year, and the new residential building fits within the plot’s existing DX-7 zoning.

The Haymarket monument will remain in its current location, on the sidewalk in front of the new building.  Its current backdrop of a weedy parking lot and potholed alley will be replaced by a cobbled plaza with trees, benches, raised planters, and possibly outdoor seating space for an eatery.   If you believe that Irony and Progress are more than kissing cousins, the retail space overlooking the monument will become a McDonald’s.

Here’s what else we know:

  • Architecture firm: GREC Architects
  • Maximum height: 154½ feet
  • Roof height: 148 feet
  • Floors: 14
  • Residences: 199
  • Retail space: 250 square feet
  • Parking: 141 spaces
  • Bicycle parking: 71 spaces
  • Loading docks: One
  • Fire pits: Five
  • Outdoor kitchens: at least three
  • Private terraces for podium-level residences
  • Pocket park!
Rendering of 165 North Des Plaines

Rendering of 165 North Des Plaines

Editor’s Note: We’re still deciding on our official spelling of Des Plaines Street.  Various branches of city government use Des Plaines, Desplaines, and DesPlaines.  If you have a preference, let us know below. Bonus points for explaining why.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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