The developers of a planned mixed-use high-rise rental project at 1571 Maple Ave. told Evanston’s Plan Commission Wednesday night that their design minimizes the impact on a neighboring tower, compared to what’s permitted under the city’s zoning code.

A rendering prepared by the developers and shown above indicates the maximum height and bulk permitted under the zoning code for the site’s D3 zoning district — 85 feet of dwelling units plus a 40 foot tall parking garage at the base.

Instead, working with city staff, the developers have come up with a design that is a few feet taller but that has substantial setbacks which reduce the extent to which views are impaired from 1570 Elmwood Ave., the adjacent building to the south.

The proposed design for 1571 Maple. Both views look west from Davis Street and Elmwood Avenue.

The key to making the proposed design work is to move most of the parking required for the project off site — to the city-owned Maple Avenue garage about two blocks away.

City staff is recommending approval of the design, and the several site development allowances it calls for. And the city would stand to gain more than $100,000 a year for the next 40 years by leasing the parking spaces at the now-underutilized garage to the developer.

Sally Henderson.

But several residents of the neighboring condo tower objected to the project.

Sally Henderson said the new building “would hurt people in my building a great deal.”

She said she was worried that it would diminish the amount of light for north-facing units in the building, known as One Evanston or the Winthrop Club, and create a lack of privacy — with residents of the new building able to looking into windows of the existing one.

And, with the expectation that the smaller units in the new rental building would draw younger tenants, Henderson said she feared there would be much more noise, more moving in and out and “if you have young people you’ll have social issues.”

She also said she was worried that the value of her condo unit would drop 25 or 30 percent as a result of the new building — disrupting her carefully crafted plan for financing her retirement.

“It’s hideous and unfair,” Henderson added.

In addition to the residents of the adjacent building, Doreen Hagerty, who lives in the Presbyterian Homes property a block away at 1020 Grove St., submitted petitions she said were signed by most residents of that building and the nearby King Home objecting to the new development.

As called for under its rules, the Plan Commission, at the request of the opponents, continued the hearing on the project until its Dec. 17 meeting.

The commission will ultimately make a recommendation to the City Council about whether to approve the project.

Related stories

Condo buyers — about that view …

Maple project to gain height, separation from neighbor

Former funeral home site to see new life

Related document

Plan Commission packet on 1571 Maple development

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Are garage fees really going to be for 40 years?

    And when the developer goes bankrupt, or loses interest, will the $100,000 payments to Evanston really last for all 40 years? Or will their lawyers find a way to end the payments after only a few years?

    1. How many parking spaces?

      Given the city's incompent economic development, building patios and continued gifts, to everyone, is the $100,000 a realistic payment? How many spaces? Is there any document showing the finanicals?

      Given the poor work I have seen in the past with numbers that don't even add up for the projects, what to say this is a good deal?

      Bill any numbers available?

      1. Parking spaces

        According to the packet for the meeting,

        101 spaces — which at the standard $85/mo/space rate adds up to $103,020 per year.

        — Bill


        1. Looks again like the city is giving our money away – $10 million

          Bill  thanks for the response – looking on line it takes about $40,000 to build one parking space – therefore the capital involved is $4 millon – city borrows at at $72,000 per million – $288,000 plus other expenses – lets say $350,000 – looks again like we taxpayers are geting ripped off by Wally and is less than competent economic development group. – Let the developer build the spaces – rather than to  give him over $250,000 a year for 40 years  = $10 million gift

          I am certain they will come up with some reason – like we screwed up and built too much parking therefore – we need to rent it – ofcourse they had this reason some years ago when the sold water at too low a price and created the fiscal mess at the water plant – which they are now covering up.

          It nevers ends –

    2. Developer lock-in on parking

      I asked about the city's protection in the event of bankruptcy or other financial default by the developer, and Deputy City Attorney Michelle Masoncup said:

      "The lease agreement will outline terms relative to events which would give rise to a default (bankruptcy, foreclosure, etc.).  The agreement will specify that the filing and discharge of the Lessee in bankruptcy is an event of default, to which the City would file a claim in the bankruptcy court.  We will require that a memorandum of lease agreement is recorded against the property and any outstanding debt is collected through available legal remedies.  If the Lessee were to be found in default of loan obligations and the property moves into foreclosure, the City would also be named in that suit and file appropriate actions to protect its interest."

      — Bill

      1. So what – what are they doing about all the bad debt?

        As I recall we have some other bad debt- that is they have been behind on rent, are these paid up – these are Wally's

        Next Theater

        Chicken and Waffles

        ( the Patio?)

        Does anyone think we will get even our $100,000 a year if they default? – this is the same legal department that end up erasing all the tapes from the Harley Clarke meeting – claiming they did know how to operate the tape record!


  2. A Naive Perspective
    Ms. Henderson has a few interesting points. Sure it would be nice to not have an adjacent building and keep those nice northern views. One Evanston should buy that parcel thereby increasing the value of their condos and make it a nice private park.
    To assume no one would build there is terribly naïve. If someone builds a house next to mine, it blocks that exposure and allows them to look into my property also. Same thing.
    As far as parking, it is excellent they are concentrating the parking (and resulting traffic) at the municipal garage which reduces the impact on the already busy Davis Street area.
    Young people and noise? Really? Is this 1962?
    While I appreciate the condo owners wish to keep their views at the expense of the taxpayers, it is unrealistic and naïve to say the least.

  3. proposed apartment development on maple

    just a couple of points to take into account:  no one has a legal RIGHT to a view.  presumably the zoning laws of a municipality cover that aspect (property-line set backs, height, etc.) if the folks in the condo wanted no building next door, as another commentor suggested, they should have pooled their funds and bought the site, or the air rights to the vacant lot.  then if anyone wants to build, they would have to pay the owners of the air rights, or buy them. this has been done in chicago many times.

    Mary Brugliera


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