Des Plaines City Council narrowly approves changes to controversial apartments plan

Proposed changes to a controversial apartment building plan in downtown Des Plaines were narrowly approved by the city council Tuesday night.

With two aldermen absent, Mayor Andrew Goczkowski’s vote was needed to break a 3-3 tie and pass the amended plans for the building coming to the northwest corner of Graceland and Webford avenues. The council approved the original construction plans in April 2023.

Barrington-based Mylo Residential Graceland Property originally conceived the building as a seven-story structure but now intends to construct a six-story building. Additionally, instead of 131 apartments, the company wants to create 129.

That latter change is more significant than it might appear. Rather than offering 17 studio apartments, 103 one-bedroom apartments and 11 two-bedroom apartments, the company now wants to make available 75 studio units, 41 one-bedroom units and 13 two-bedroom units.

The changes reflect the market, Mylo’s Joe Taylor told the council Tuesday. Demand for studio units at another company project in town, the Welkin Apartments at 1425 Ellinwood St., is high enough to require a wait list, Taylor said.

The apartment building will be constructed on the former site of the Journal & Topics Media Group’s headquarters and an adjoining municipal parking lot.

During preliminary discussions last year and in 2022, critics of the plan — mostly residents of the neighborhood where the building will be constructed — complained about traffic, aesthetics and other issues.

Several residents questioned and criticized the revised plans Tuesday night before the council’s vote.

Goczkowski joined Aldermen Mark Walsten, Mark Lysakowski and Colt Moylan in voting for the changes. Aldermen Dick Sayad, Patsy Smith and Sean Oskerka opposed the changes.

Aldermen Carla Brookman and Mike Charewicz were absent.

The council also approved a new stipulation requiring the developers to donate $188,067 to the Des Plaines Park District for improvements at nearby Potawatomie Park, 1200 Prairie Ave., which now has few amenities. That passed without objection.

Asbestos removal from the old Journal & Topics building could begin in March, with demolition to follow by May, Taylor said.

More details of the plan and a video of Tuesday’s meeting can be found at

A six-story apartment building will be constructed in downtown Des Plaines on land that formerly was home to the Journal & Topics Media Group. The building should be torn down this spring, a developer said Tuesday. Daily Herald File Photo, April 2022
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