Plans revised for accessible units on Central

A rendering of the proposed development.

Developers of the planned Highlands on Central have sliced two units from the apartment complex after the project was rejected in February by Evanston's Zoning Board of Appeals.

The new plans -- for 12 instead of 14 units -- are scheduled to be reviewed Wednesday by the city's Design and Project Review committee.

The new plan for the site at 3233-49 Central would require two variations from the zoning code to win approval. The previous plan required three variations.

And the new plan reduces the size of the two variances still required.

Developers Dan and Bill Schermerhorn say "the most income generating option" for developing the site would be to build nine townhouse units, each with three floors of living space and three or four bedrooms and attached garages.

But they say the townhomes "did not fit the neighborhood" which includes many smaller homes.

Instead they're proposing two-bedroom units, each with about 1,200 square feet of space, all on one floor, with the first-floor units designed to be completely accessible.

The Schermerhorns say those units will fill an unmet need in Evanston for housing designed to allow residents to age in place.

Related stories

How zoning can make affordability difficult (2/21/18)

ZBA to review development plan on Central (2/19/18)

Larger apartments planned on Central Street site (8/4/16)

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Comments

10

10 is plenty.

No, it isn't

emm vincent - If you had followed the complete series of articles you would know that a 10-unit structure is not feasible financially for the developers. Since no businessperson sets out to lose money on a project, suggesting that 10 units "is plenty" is a knee-jerk reaction based on the data in the chart Bill provided. Check out Bill's previous post about zoning at "http://evanstonnow.com/story/real-estate/bill-smith/affordable-housing/2018-02-21/79310/how-zoning-can-make-affordability" and see the comments from the Schermerhorns in the earlier posts to gain some knowledge around the issue. Like I said in my other post, I would love to be able to find a rental unit just like this to move into.

Accessible Housing Needed

I would move into one of the 1st-floor units if given the chance. Unfortunately, even though I work full-time, I can't afford the projected rents. That said, I have been looking for an apartment in a building with an elevator for two years and have been unable to find anything that doesn't cost upwards of $2,000 a month. I can't imagine being retired, with the lower income, and trying to find a place to live. There is a need for accessible housing that costs closer to $1,000 a month!

Accessible Housing Needed

Hillary,

There are plenty of rents that meet your criteria in Chicago and Skokie. I don't understand why Evanston has to be everything to everyone. This is reality.

Where I live

Scott - I shouldn't have to justify WHY I prefer to live in Evanston, but since you so flippantly suggested that I move, I guess I will. My family has been in Evanston for about 65 years. My uncle, aunt, three siblings, son, and soon nieces, will be graduates of ETHS. My nieces go/went to Willard and Haven, where my son also went, and where me and my siblings went. I work in Evanston. I volunteer in Evanston. I spend most of my dollars here in Evanston, supporting local businesses.
All of that aside, as a person with physical limitations, one of the most important determinations for where I live is the length/duration of my commute to work. Moving south or west would increase my commute exponentially. That is not an option for me.
Looking at all of the facts, I am exactly the type of person that should be living in Evanston. That accessibility and affordability are issues is what is wrong with this picture.

Economics

Scott is right though. Its just supply and demand. Rent controls don't work.

I can't afford to live in Winnetka. So I dont live in Winnetka.

Maybe if they lower the taxes

Maybe if they lower the taxes, landlords could lower the rent. If you can't make a profit whats the point?


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