Owners of two proposed planned developments in Evanston have agreed to provide subsidized housing as part of their projects — with a mix of on-site and off-site solutions.

At the 1571 Maple Ave. project, which is up for a possible final vote by aldermen tonight, the developers have agreed to provide two one-bedroom units on site to households earning no more than 100 percent of area median income.

Area median income varies by household size, but for a two-person household, 100 percent of AMI currently is $60,800. And the maximum permissible affordable monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at that income level is considered to be $1,331.

By contrast, market-rate rents for one-bedroom apartments in the project are expected to range from $1,900 to $2,302 depending on unit size.

In addition, the developer of the 101 unit rental development on what’s now a vacant lot has agreed to contribute $400,000 toward the city’s affordable housing fund, which a city staff memo says would be distributed to a local non-profit affordable housing developer to be named later for acquisition or rehabilitation of units in the downtown area.

At the City Council’s last meeting, on March 23, aldermen voiced dissatisfaction with what then was proposed by the deveopers as a $120,000 contribution to the affordable housing fund with no on-site subsidized units. The new proposal was developed in negotiations with city staff since that meeting.

City staff and the Plan Commission have recommended approval of the project, which will provide most of its required parking by leasing spaces at the under-utilized city garage on Maple Avenue, two blocks north of the development site.

A rendering of the 1620 Central St. development.

Up for introduction tonight before the City Council is a planned 47-unit rental development at 1620 Central St. that would replace a vacant two-story office building on the site.

The developers there are proposing to include two on-site subsidized one bedroom units to households who make no more than 100 percent of area median income.

Market-rate rents for the Central Street building are expected to range from $1,356 to $1,786 depending on unit size.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Is the $400,00 enough? 1571 Maple

    The city rents the parking spaces for $85 – it cost them almost $60 in monthly in operating cost. That is not including the capital to build the space.  In the twenty years the city would agreed to this deal – we will be losing $5 million dollars.  I would like to know what numbers staff worked with for this deal.

    More give away of OUR tax dollars.

    1. Explain your math?

      How exactly do you conclude that an additional $103,020 in revenue per year — versus no revenue from vacant parking spaces — adds up to a $5 million loss in 20 years?

      The $85 a month rate per garage space is available to anybody — with no long-term contract required. One could argue that as a bulk purchaser making a long-term commitment, the developer ought to be getting a discount.

      And the garage operating costs presumably are relatively stable, regardless of occupancy levels.

      If, as you seem to claim, the city is charging everyone too little to park in the garage to fully cover its costs — then we need to assess whether the market will bear higher rates — for everyone.

      — Bill

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