Developer Robert King will ask the Evanston City Council tonight to again delay the deadline for starting work on his planned 165-unit condominium project at 1881 Oak Ave.

1881 Oak
The 1881 Oak Ave. site, looking southwest from Emerson Street.

King’s attorney, David Reifman, in a letter to aldermen, said “market conditions and the slowing economy have temporarily delayed the developer’s ability to successfully market the project.”

The project was originally approved on July 12, 2006, with a one-year deadline to begin construction.

Last year King was granted a one-year extension of the deadline on condition that he remove the foundation a previous developer had left behind from an earlier failed development at the site.

In asking for a new, two-year extension, Reifman noted that the old foundation has been removed and the lot seeded as the city directed.

The city’s staff is recommending approval of the new deadline, conditioned on the developer removing the construction fencing from the site, paying permit fees and restoring the sidewalk on the Emerson Street side of the property.

The site, previously planned as part of the Research Park development, has been vacant for decades.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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