The Evanston City Council voted 7-0 Monday night to approve revisions to plans for The Emerson, a 16-story mixed-income Housing Authority of Cook County development at 1900 Sherman Ave.
The project had been opposed by some neighbors and questioned by by Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) who was absent from Monday’s meeting following the death last week of her mother. Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th), whose mother also died last week, also missed the meeting.
The revisions to the proposal originally approved by the City Council last year decrease the number of dwelling units from 168 to 152 and cut the number of below grade parking spaces from 37 to 25.
The new approval was conditioned on the developer leasing 12 more off-site parking spaces to compensate for the reduction in on-site parking. Other recently construction apartment buildings in the area have excess parking capacity.
Richard J. Monocchio, HACC’s executive director, said tenants of the building’s 37 subsidized units will typically pay $300 a month in rent. Residents of an additional 14 “missing middle” units — designed for residents earning 80% to 120% of area median income — will pay rent that Monocchio said will be about half of market rate.
Tenants in the 101 market rate units, he said, in essence will be paying for the construction of the affordable units.
He said the project would be constructed without any government development subsidies.
Monocchio said the subsidized units would be exempt from real estate taxes but the rest of building would be on the tax rolls, although HACC plans to take advantage of a recently-passed state law that gives developers of properties with more than 20% affordable units some tax abatement.
The new building is to be constructed on what’s now a parking lot for HACC’s 11-story Jane Perlman Apartments.
Discovery after the city’s original approvals that the 1970s-vintage Perlman building had a slab rather than caisson-style foundation led to the need to redesign the new building to be located somewhat further away from the existing structure and triggered the requirement to seek city approval for the plan revisions.