The plan for a nine-story mixed use development at Chicago Avenue and Main Street — which was scheduled for a final vote at tonight’s City Council meeting — apparently won’t get it.

City staff is recommending that the question be pulled from the council’s consent agenda and be postponed “to an unspecified future date.”

The project has drawn opposition from some neighbors because it provides less parking than traditionally required for such developments.

But, because the development is adjacent to two mass transit stations, supporters have argued that the parking provided is sufficient.

The development, at 835 Chicago Ave., won approval from the Plan Commission on a 5-3 vote in February.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, in announcing the postponement, didn’t provide a reason for the delay, but a community leader in the area indicated late last week that the parking issue was the sticking point.

The site, on the southeast corner of the intersection, has been vacant for several years, since a condominium development planned for it failed to get off the ground.

The city had pushed for a mixed retail and office project on the site — hoping to stimulate creation of more jobs in the area. But the developer was unable to find tenants for several floors of office space. The current plan calls for ground floor retail, offices on the second floor and rental apartments above that.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Too much parking is the problem

    If anything the developer bent over backwards to accommodate irrational fears from neighbors.  They are proposing a parking space for each unit.  The development is directly across the street from two train lines and has bus service.  It probably only needs about a third of the number proposed.


    Not a wise move by the city.

    1. one spot per unit

      hello, i believe it is disingenuous to call it one spot per unit when that includes car lifts and tandem spots. those are a benefit to the spot holder, but cannot be split between units without valet and time.


      1. Still too much parking required.

        Even before that concession there was too much parking required for this building.

        We should model what they are doing in the city, such as with this new transit-oriented development project which has 90 units and only 39 spots.  Any development as close as this proposed on is to a transit stop needs no more than a 1 parking space – 3 unit ratio.

        Any more is ridiculous and overkill.

        1. Nowhere near enough parking as it is

          Those who think being adjacent to the L will magically cut down the number of cars required by the residents would be well advised to check the experience of the two other condo developments at the same location. Both have far higher requirements than the development has proposed and both constantly experience a shortage of parking spaces, judging by the "parking space wanted signs" that constantly appear in each. 

          What might work in the city of Chicago in terms of 1 – 3 ratio's will not work in Evanston, something that has been proven again and again with every new development over the last 10 years. Where are all those empty  spaces from all the developments with tougher parking ratio's? Just try finding, never mind succesfully renting, a parking space in the area. The simple answer is….. they don't exist, we need more parking, not less.



          1. facts?

            Check your facts?  Judging the occasional piece of paper posting parking space wanted does not equate to "fact" of any nature whatsoever.    

            On multiple occasions I have seen signs posted in our lobby, in one of Evanstons transit oriented high rise buildings, offering parking spaces FOR RENT!  Every day half the cars never move.  Why is that?  Does it signify much less need to have and accomodate cars?

            Maybe 1 spot for every 3 units is not a good ratio for suburban Evanston, but certainly 1 spot per unit is more than adquate.  Yet people are fighting even that ratio?   

  2. In the meantime…

    It's been nice having the open green area as various owners and the city try to figure out what to do with the space.  Regularly see kids playing there, people sitting in the grass, even students from the martial arts school on Chicago practicing outside.

  3. More time to play fetch

    Thank goodness this project has been delayed. For years, as this property has sat vacant I've been playing catch with Scout every day. I can't imagine where we will go once the City takes away another piece of green space. 

    Yes. Indeed. This was brought up by a neighbor year's ago during a community meeting about the redevelopment of this project. Only in Evanston. Hopefully the City and Evanston will resolve whatever issues remain and get this development underway.

  4. 1 spot per unit might be too

    1 spot per unit might be too much, but what they need to add is a public parking. Let's also keep in mind that being in front of public transportation and taking the train does not always mean a household does not own a car. It can also mean they only have 1 instead of 2, or 3!  So really 1 spot per unit is not crazy. But it might be too much, since residents might not be wanting to spend the $$ and end up parking on the streets. So these are legitimate concerns.
     It is already a mess getting parking on Main to go to any of the restaurants or shops around there, if you add more businesses, it is just going to get worst. Hinman is no better. 

    And frankly, while trying to grow the neighborhood and bring jobs would be good, there is already office space that is available and unused around there. Though it is starting to fill up.

  5. Think ahead
    Totally agree there is a dearth of parking in SE Evanston. Adding another condo with insufficient parking for *all* residents at one of the busiest corners in Evanston seems like a risky gamble at best.

    Anyone who purchases a unit without parking will be making the same mistake as a couple of owners in our condo who “sold” their space because they didn’t need them at the time. When they actually bought/needed a car (change of job, injury, relative moving [back] in, etc.), they found, to their dismay, that there were long waiting lists for all nearby public lots. Try slogging through a rough winter like this past one & imagine what fun it was for those without parking spaces, even outdoor ones! And, when these owners sought to sell their units, they had even bigger problems!

    To all potential unit buyers, caveat emptor.

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