Within a couple of years Evanston residents will find out whether some people really are willing to walk two blocks to their apartments after parking their cars.

The City Council Monday night approved on a 6-1 vote plans for a 12-story, 101-unit apartment building at 1571 Maple Ave. that will have most of its parking located two blocks north at the city’s Maple Avenue garage.

Despite continued claims from some that the parking solution wouldn’t work, aldermen approved the project — persuaded that, with its location adjacent to the city’s two downtown rail stations, many residents would commute to work by train and either not have cars or would use them only rarely.

The $103,020 a year the developer will pay for 101 parking spaces in 1,400-space garage — which city officials say now is half empty — may have helped persuade aldermen of the merits of the plan.

But it was the developer’s agreement to provide two units of subsidized housing in the project and contribute $400,000 to the city’s affordable housing fund that appeared to help seal the deal — with Alderman Don Wilson, whose 4th Ward includes the site, saying that offer was “pretty extraordinary.”

Wilson said he saw the off-site parking solution as an experiment — and a way to design a building that would minimize the negative impact on the neighbors that would have resulted from having a large parking deck at the base of the buiding.

The only vote against the project came from Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, who says the plan doesn’t provide sufficient parking.

Aldermen Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, and Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, were absent from the meeting.

Related stories

Developers to pay for subsidized housing (4/13/15)

Developers: Projects have parking to spare (4/13/15)

Aldermen squeeze developer for housing subsidies (3/24/15)

Maple high-rise project advances (3/10/15)

One Evanston owners complain of views they’d lose (1/18/15)

Plan Commission OKs 1571 Maple high rise (1/14/15)

Developer: Design minimizes impact on neighbors (9/6/14)

Condo buyers — about that view … (10/3/14)

Maple project to gain height, separation from neighbor (9/26/14)

Former funeral home site to see new life (9/12/14)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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