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Evanston: Growth through condos

Condos in Evanston

New figures from the city's planning division show that the total of completed new and converted condo units in Evanston now stands at 6,516 — with another 833 units either under construction, approved or proposed.

Condos in Evanston

In the 44 years since the first condominiums were completed in Evanston the city has lived through surges and slow patches in the growth of the housing type here.

Condominiums first arrived in Evanston in 1964 and the earliest condo projects were generally newly-constructed buildings.

More recently the town has seen a mix of new construction and conversions of rental apartment buildings, old mansions and commercial structures to condo units.

So far in this decade the city has seen 1,553 units converted compared to 1,174 completed new construction condos.

With the recent softening of the real estate market, not all the approved condo units are expected to actually be built. Developer Tom Roszak has approval to build another 110 units in the second half of his Sienna project downtown, but is currently seeking approval to build a hotel there instead.

And other projects likely will be delayed. Developers of two other approved projects, at 1700-1722 Central St. and 1885 Oak Ave., have requested extra time from the city to get the projects underway.

Condo map

Sites of condo developments in Evanston (map is not clickable).

Most condo development has been concentrated east of Ridge Avenue, in what traditionally has been a more densely populated part of the city and one that has ready access to mass transit, downtown and the lakefront.

That's been supplemented by a secondary cluster of condos running along Central Street in north Evanston.

Evanston's population peaked around 80,000 in the 1970 census.

With the aging of the generation that bought the single-family homes that completed the build-out of the community after World War II, the number of persons per household declined, contributing to a population decline to 73,233 in 1990.

But with the increase in condo construction, that trend has reversed, so that the latest census bureau survey pegs Evanston's 2006 population at 75,543.

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