A major Chicago-based developer of large-scale apartment complexes reportedly plans to build 287 rental units on Chicago Avenue south of Kedzie Street in Evanston.


A rendering from the developer’s website.

website describing the project doesn’t identify the developer, but the site is registered to AMLI Residential, which operates over 22,000 rental apartment units in 10 metro areas across the nation.

No one answered a phone call placed to AMLI’s corporate headquarters this morning.

The project would replace a strip of retail shops facing Kedzie anchored by a Salvation Army store as well as the Nissan auto dealership fronting on Chicago Avenue.

As described on the website, the project would include five stories of apartments over ground-floor retail and parking.

Just over half the apartments would be studios, convertibles or one-bedroom units. Nearly 40 percent would be one bedroom plus home office or two-bedroom units, and the remainder would be live-work lofts.

Average monthly rents are estimated to range from $1,800 to $2,200.

City Community Development Director James Wolinski said the developer has not yet submitted any plans for the project to the city and he knows “only bits and pieces” about it.

He said redevelopment of that area has been talked about for a number of years as auto dealerships along Chicago Avenue have gradually moved out.

A phone call Friday to Alderman Melissa Wynne, whose 3rd Ward includes the site, was not returned.

A developer-sponsored community meeting about the project is to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the Firehouse Grill Restaurant, 750 Chicago Ave.

The maximum height proposed for the new development is 67 feet, the limited provided under the area’s current C1a zoning.

The floor area ratio is 3.7, below the 4.0 limit in the zone.

Because of its size, the development will require review by the Plan Commission and City Council.

The developers hope to begin construction in summer 2009 and project that the project will increase annual property tax revenue from the site from $150,000 to $1.3 million.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. New Proposal
    Mr Wolinksy is correct. One proposal seems to have come and gone, leaving a footprint in the 11/30/05 SPAARC minutes (concept review). This appears a totally new proposal by a different group, now including not just the corner parcel but that plus the car dealership parcel. There is a Com Ed substation west of the alley, in the development area as indicated on their diagram. I for one will be interested to find out how they are building around that. Here in the neighborhood, we all knew something would come eventually. It is inevitable. The properties are too much in need of redevelopment and just too close to 2 train stations to sit dormant.

  2. This seems like an ideal apartment development site
    As mentioned, the location is perfect for an apartment project since it is so close to Metra and CTA. I think a development of this type would really help bridge the gap between the townhomes to the south and the activity on Main Street to the north.
    If I were the developer, I’d also look at the Subaru dealership and the older strip mall north of Walgreens as potential redevelopment parcels too.
    Too bad that it sounds like there won’t be any street-level retail as part of this redevelopment though, as the Chicago avenue Streetscape could use a little help.
    Ideally, this would be apartments above retail along the street.

  3. Kitschy charm
    What with the current state of the real estate market, I can’t see this development materializing any time soon. And for what it’s worth, the dry cleaner on Kedzie just east of Chicago told me he just signed a two-year lease for his business.

    My sister raves about the beautician whose business is located at Chicago and Kedzie.

    I would miss the kitschy charm of the Salvation Army outlet as well.

    1. Rental market is strong right now
      With the recent downturn in home sales, the rental market is actually quite strong.
      I too would be sad to see the loss of retail on that corner. Hopefully current tenants could be accommodated in the redevelopment plans.

  4. LEED?
    What LEED certification does this project have?

    If Evanston is going to live up to its green advertising, it should be requiring a minimum of Silver for all new development and renovation.

    1. LEED Certified is a classification
      The website indicates they are seeking “LEED Certification”, which is the lowest of 4 categories for new construction certification.

      LEED Certification requires 26-32 points.
      LEED Silver requires 33-38
      LEED Gold requires 39-51
      LEED Platinum requires 52-69

      More about LEED standards can be found at http://www.usgbc.org

      While I would love to see Evanston require LEED Silver for all projects, LEED Certified is nothing to sneeze at. It represents a huge commitment from the developer in terms of up-front costs, especially since it is not required at all by the city at this time.

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