‘Five-star service’ planned at Chicago Avenue tower


The developer of a planned new high-rise tower at 1621-31 Chicago Avenue downtown says he’s planning to offer residents “five-star service” — a level of luxury not seen before in an Evanston rental building.

Jeff Michael of Horizon Realty Group says the plans he’ll present to neighbors at a meeting Tuesday evening call for a 25-story building, one floor taller than the Park Evanston tower across the street.

Michael says the building would have valet parking and a full array of amenities, comparable to some luxury downtown Chicago buildings.

There’ll be full concierge service and a fully staffed lounge, “almost like a private club” where residents can emtertain guests.

There’ll also be services to care for pets, an amenity deck with an outdoor swimming pool and even an indoor golf simulator, Michael says.

The building would have 215 apartments, 149 parking spaces and 3,691 square feet of ground floor commercial space.

Michael says that since the development is only in preliminary planning stages he’s had only some casual conversation with Amy Morton, who operates the Found Kitchen and Social House restaurant in one of the existing storefronts on the site, but, “If we could craft a situation and put Found back in the first floor space in the new building, I would love that.”

Michael says the target market for the new property would most likely be empty nesters, people in their 50s and 60s, “who are not ready for retirement living at The Merion,” the senior living community that Horizon owns just to the south at 1611 Chicago Ave.

He said leasing of apartments at the recently completed addition to The Merion is “going great.” But he said he had nothing to announce yet about tenants for the ground floor retail space in the addition. “We’ve had some interest, but haven’t pulled the trigger on anything yet.”

As for the retail space in the older section of The Merion, he says he’s hoping the owners of Joy Yee will complete work to build out the vacant corner retail space by the end of the year.

Michael said he’s looking forward to getting some feedback from the community about the planned new building when he hosts the community meeting at The Merion at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Under current zoning for the site, a two-thirds City Council vote would be required to approve the project.

Related story

New high rise planned on Chicago Avenue (10/17/17)

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