Des Plaines to hold public hearing Tuesday on proposed 7-story apartment building downtown

Plans for a seven-story, 131-unit apartment building with a public restaurant and lounge in downtown Des Plaines will get a thorough public review Tuesday.

Developers want to construct the roughly 187,000-square-foot building at Webford and Graceland avenues, a short walk from the downtown Metra station.

"With its proximity to area businesses and local transit to Chicago, Des Plaines is an ideal location to create a contemporary, high-density residential community," Chicago-based OKW Architects said in a description of the project submitted to city officials.

The Journal & Topics Media Group and a public parking lot are on the land now. The Journal & Topics operation likely would relocate elsewhere in Des Plaines if the project progresses, the media outlet has reported.

A public hearing before the city's planning & zoning board is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, at city hall, 1420 Miner St.

The planning and zoning board advises the city council on development issues. Final approval from the council would be needed for the proposal to become reality.

According to plans, the seven-story building would have a mix of apartment floor plans: 17 studios, 103 one-bedrooms and 11 two-bedrooms.

Resident-only amenities would include a fitness area, a rooftop swimming pool and deck, an indoor parking garage and a club room with a bar.

A public restaurant and lounge would be built on portions of the first two floors.

Several Des Plaines residents raised concerns about the proposal during last week's city council meeting.

Among them was Jennifer Brown, who suggested the proposed restaurant and lounge could lead to drunken drivers in the neighborhood.

"(That's) a massive safety concern for me," she said.

Another speaker, Tom Simeone, said row houses would fit the character of that neighborhood better. Like Brown and others, he opposed high-rise residential buildings being built anywhere in Des Plaines.

"We need a better standard for our town," Simeone said.

A Barrington-based company called Compasspoint Development is behind the proposal. Its other projects include the Ellinwood Apartments at Ellinwood and Graceland avenues.

The property now being eyed for redevelopment is zoned for general commercial use. Compasspoint wants the land to be rezoned and considered part of the central business district.

Compasspoint also is requesting variances from the city's building codes concerning parking-lot curbs and landscaping.

Company officials hope to purchase all the land in early 2023 and begin construction that spring, according to city documents. Construction could take 16 months.

To learn more about the plan, visit

  A developer has proposed constructing a 131-unit apartment building in Des Plaines where the Journal & Topics Media Group now operates. Mark Welsh/
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