Developers told residents at a sparsely attended neighborhood meeting Thursday evening that they hope to build a 17-story building targeted to the “active adult” market on what’s now a parking lot at 1727 Oak Ave. in Evanston.

Grady Hamilton of the Trammell Crow Company said the project would be age-restricted to persons 55 years and older.

Grady Hamilton.

He said the average resident of such a development nationwide is 72 years old. He described “active adult” communities as an under-served niche in the rental housing market, with growing demand as baby boomers age.

He said such communities occupy a price point between general purpose multifamily developments and independent living communities targeted to retirees.

While a one-bedroom apartment in a high-end multifamily development might rent for $2,000 a month and the rental portion of fees for a one bedroom in an independent living development might average $3,500 a month, he said, a one bedroom unit in a active adult development might average $2,500 a month.

He said the active adult community Trammell Crow is planning for Evanston would have more than half again as much amenity space as a typical luxury market rate development and that it would offer continental breakfasts to residents along with social programs and other activities to get people together. 

Aaron Roseth.

Aaron Roseth of ESG Architects described the design as “fairly contemporary,” constructed of post-tensioned concrete with lots of glass and metal panels.

Variations in the projection of different building elements would create “almost a dancing facade, without being too over the top,” Roseth said, suggesting it would provide interesting changes in the reflections off the glazing with changes of sun and sky over the course of a day.

The development would have 169 apartments and 158 parking stalls, with most of the parking on the building’s second and third levels.

Given uncertainty about how much parking residents will need in the future, with increased use of ride sharing services and the potential adoption of self-driving vehicles, architect Gretchen Card said the parking decks have been designed with level floors, except for a single ramp, so they might potentially be converted to different uses in the future.

A rendering showing a ground level view of the Oak Avenue facade of the building.

Hamilton said that Trammell Crow would be purchasing the parking lot from its current owner, FD Stonewater, the firm that bought the adjoining 1007 Church St. office building earlier this year.

He said Stonewater already owns sufficient parking for the office building on the ground level of the 1720 Oak condominium building across the street, so the new building will not have to provide parking for the 1007 Church property.

He said Trammell Crow plans to meet the city’s requirement for affordable housing by including about a quarter of the affordable units on site and paying the in-lieu fee for the rest. Under the ordinance developers have to make a tenth of the units affordable on site, or pay a $100,000 fee for each of those units not provided on site. Rents for the on-site affordable units, he added, would likely range from $700 to $900 a month.

Hamilton said the development team is still determining how much the property would be likely to yield to the city and other taxing bodies in additional property tax revenue. But he noted that with the age-restricted nature of the development it would be unlikely to add any additional children to the enrollment of local schools.

Only about nine residents turned out for the meeting, which competed with a baseball playoff game that saw the Cubs eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers. One resident urged that all the affordable housing units be provided on site, while another raised questions about noise from the adjacent train tracks.

Hamilton said his firm has hired an acoustician to test the sound and vibration levels and has concluded that they are within reasonable standards and that any noise should be mitigated by the concrete structure of the building.

Once the developers submit a formal proposal to the city for review, the project is will go through at least four to six additional public meetings, Community Development Director Johanna Leonard said, culminating with a vote by the City Council.

The schedule for those meetings would depend on how soon the developers submit their formal proposal, but once begun would be likely to take three to six months to complete.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Sparsely attended? How about no notice?

    The reason the meeting was sparsely attended was not due to the NLCS game as implied by the article. Neighbors were only notified of the meeting the day before (or day of if you don’t check your mailbox daily). Apparently the postcards were lost in the mail.

    1. Readers …

      Hi Kurt,

      Sorry to hear about your experience with the postcards.

      But regular readers of Evanston Now knew about the meeting six days before it happened.

      And the fact is that the meeting did compete with the playoff game, which is what the article said.

      Your suggestion that there could only be one reason for sparse attendance, and that it must be the one you favor, is logically faulty.

      — Bill

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