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Evanstonians wondering whether new construction in town has satiated the demand for rental apartments here got an answer today — and it appears to be “no.”

Fifield Cos. and Carroll Properties today announced that E2 Apartments, their 356-unit project in downtown Evanston, has been leasing at a record pace. Just six months after opening for pre-leasing, the community is more than 80 percent-leased.

“There is no doubt that E2 has filled a void in the Evanston market,” said Randy Fifield, vice chairman of Fifield Cos. “The building’s high-end finishes and long list of luxury amenities has elevated luxury rental living on the North Shore to levels that didn’t exist before, so we’re not surprised to see such high demand.”

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E2 consists of two buildings, a 16-story tower at 1881 Oak Ave. and a 14-story tower at 1890 Maple Ave. Designed to LEED Silver standards, the two buildings are connected by a four-story structure that includes three floors of parking and an amenity deck.

Part of the amenity area in the E2 complex.

The building also contains 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 2,500 of which will be occupied by boutique fitness studio exhale Evanston starting in December. In addition to its tower residences, E2 also has 12 rental townhomes with private entrances along Emerson Street.

“From Northwestern graduate students and young professionals to downsizing empty nesters, E2 doesn’t just meet, but exceeds the needs of today’s renters who have elected to rent versus own,” Fifield added. “E2 gives homeowners, particularly empty-nesters who have decided to simplify and downsize, the opportunity to try out the luxury rental lifestyle. We’ve given suburban residents the best of what the urban rental lifestyle has to offer.”

One new tenant, Howard Pearl, a 61-year old recently-retired attorney, opted to sell his home in Glencoe when his kids left home. Pearl, who wanted to rid himself of the responsibilities inherent in owning a large home, is renting a three-bedroom unit at E2. “Owning a home, responsibility and all, was wonderful when my kids were young, but now that they’re grown, it’s a lot of work for one person,” said Pearl.

“I wanted to eliminate all of that maintenance and responsibility without forgoing a certain level of comfort that I’ve become accustomed to as a homeowner,” he added. “I’m not saying I’ll never own again, but E2 gives me the chance to try out renting for a while. And as my son says, with all the amenities, it’s like living in a nice hotel.”

Apartment tower residences at E2 range from 500 to 1,400 square feet and offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts. The property’s 12 rental townhomes range in size from1,750 to 1,875 square feet and feature three bedrooms, 2½ baths and a third-floor roof deck.

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