The head of the Housing Authority of Cook County says financing issues have stalled the planned mixed-income, high-rise development at 1900 Sherman Ave. in Evanston.

But Richard Monocchio, HACC’s executive director, says he’s hoping for good news soon on financing for a planned 60-unit affordable housing development at 504 South Blvd.

In an interview with Evanston Now, Monocchio said, “We didn’t close” on financing for The Emerson “before interest rates spiked.”

“So we’re looking at a few other financing ideas to make the thing pencil out,” Monocchio added.

“Projects like this already have tight margins, because we’re writing down 33% of the rents to make them affordable,” Monocchio said, “so when rates went up 3.5 points it forced me to look at some other funding options.”

The Emerson project was initially approved by the Evanston City Council in late 2020 and revised plans for the 152-unit property won City Council approval in December 2021.

“I’m very confident this is going to get built,” he added, but interest rates and construction costs “have sent me back to the drawing board.”

A rendering of the proposed development at 504-516 South Blvd.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is currently reviewing HACC’s financing plan for the South Boulevard development.

Monocchio notes that “it’s a competitive process” to get IHDA financing approval, but says, “We think it’s a great project and we’re really anxious to get started.”

He says the all-in cost of the South Boulevard development with amount to $443 per square foot and $460,000 per unit.

The South Boulevard development, for which HACC is partnering with PIRHL LLC, has yet to begin the city’s formal planned development review process.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. not surprising HACC cannot secure funding – there isn’t a developer in the U.S. that would undertake such am ill-conceived and folly of a project – a sure money loser – and we Cook County tax payers did not sign up the County to speculate on market rate housing developments, and surely not money losing ones – and the City of Evanston has been remiss in encouraging this foolishness –

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