In a report to be presented to Evanston’s Plan Commission tonight, developers of the planned 831 Emerson St. high-rise will outline environmental problems discovered at the site and their plans for a cleanup.

A report, prepared for developer CA/Focus Evanston JV, LLC by Apex Companies, LLC, says the existing dry cleaners building on the property contains two abandoned underground storage tanks for heating oil and mineral spirits and that there is evidence of some spillage of dry cleaning chemicals, particularly near where other underground storage tanks had been removed from the north side of the buiding in 1999.


The report says some soil from the site will need to be removed as part of the redevelopment process and some of it will require special disposal treatment as “non-hazardous special waste.”

More coverage of the 831 Emerson project

Apex says in the report that in its opinion “with a construction worker notification for the site and with the continuing prohibition of ground water use in accordance with the City of Evanston’s groundwater ordinance, the site can be used for residential, commercial or industrial development.”

In addition, the report identifies a variety of asbestos-containing materials at the site, ranging from floor tile to window caulk and pipe wrap insulation. It says those would need to be removed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor.

The full 177 page report is available online.

The Plan Commission meeting to review the proposed 14-story planned development project is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. 831 Emerson
    I attended the Plan Commission meeting and after the presentation by the developers, it was obvious to me that they are disingenuous, presenting this as a project that is doing our community a service by providing housing for students. They are really opportunists, who are presenting this project as a favor to the community. They are also naive in their belief that this will relieve our neighborhood of students living among us. Their rentals will be $1000. per bedroom. Students living in houses with yards where they can have parties are paying less than $1000. – usually between 700. and 800. Why would they want to live in this building? And why would young working professionals want to live in a student dorm, the other demographic target of this enterprise.

    1. Whose really disingenuous?

      The only disingenuous or naive beliefs I hear are coming from those few people who have freely choosen to live adjacent to a big 10 university campus, into a neighorhood historically intermingled with students, and then cry out that any accomodative housing, or any increased student presence, is somehow an unreasonable, outrageous, proposition.  Such haters.      

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