Albion project shrinks a bit

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The Albion Residential proposal that goes before Evanston’s Plan Commission tonight will be 14 feet shorter than it was at the first hearing last month.

Developer Andrew Yule says he’s reluctantly reduced the ceiling heights on the apartment floors of the building from 10 to 9 feet and made other changes that cut the proposed height of the building from 192 to 178 feet.

At that lower height the project will still need a two-thirds vote of the City Council to win final approval.

The project would add 286 rental apartments to the downtown area and 186 parking spaces, in what’s being described as a transit-oriented development — one in which many residents would be unlikely to have cars.

The site is in the block of Sherman Avenue between Lake and Grove streets and would be built on property that now houses the Tommy Nevin’s and Prairie Moon restaurants.

The developer plans to make a $2.9 million fee-in-lieu payment to the city’s affordable housing fund and also include two on-site affordable studio apartments available to persons making 60 percent of area median income.

Other proposed public benefits include $50,000  for landscaping and park revitalization, $50,000 for public art, $60,000 for a Divvy bike share station, membership in Divvy and Maven Car Sharing for residents who don’t bring a vehicle to the development among other items.

The Plan Commission is expected to vote on the project tonight, making a recommendation to the City Council.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says tonight’s Plan Commission meeting will not be broadcast live online or on cable, because the city’s multimedia budget workshop will be taking place at the same time.

The Plan Commission meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Civic Center.

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