Northfield-based Focus Development has submitted plans to construct a 14-story rental apartment building at 831 Emerson St. in Evanston.

The site now houses Lake City Cleaners and a 7-Eleven convenience store.

The planned development proposal calls for 297 apartment units and 136 parking spaces as well as some retail space. 

The site, on the north side of Emerson, is adjacent to the Cook County Housing Authority’s 11-story Perlman Apartments building at 1900 Sherman Ave. and is a block east of the newly-completed E2 development with its 14- and 16-story towers on the south side of Emerson.

The property is currently zoned C1, which ostensibly limits building height to 45 feet plus an additional 15 feet for planned developments, but the zoning ordinance permits the City Council to exceed those limits if two-thirds of the aldermen agree and state that the development would provide one or more from a list of nine public benefits.

The plans are scheduled to be discussed at a 1st Ward meeting to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the community meeting room at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

The property is on the western edge of the 1st Ward, and adjoins portions of the 2nd and 5th wards.

An image of 1717 Ridge Ave. from the Focus Development website.

Focus Development‘s most recent project in Evanston was the eight-story 1717 Ridge Ave. building. It also co-developed Sherman Plaza, Evanston’s tallest residential building.

More coverage of the 831 Emerson project

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. 831 Emerson

    Well here we go again!  The last proposal by Focus turned into a 6 year nightmare!  While Tim Anderson and his minions tried to convince the city council and the citizens of Evanston that his proposal at 708 Church Stree was good for the city, we know how that turned out.  They continually asked for variances while completely ignoring the 100 plus professionals on the second floor and a long time retailer on the ground floor.  Finally, the current city council decided to end our long night mare and said a fond fare well to Mr. Anderson.  In fact, his statement after his defeat was that he would never come back to Evanston!  I think we should help him hold true to his word and say no to this latest proposal.  There are plenty of vacant apartments in Evanston( E2 has more than we need), he is already asking for all kinds of exemptions and this latest proposal is much too close to the Perlman Apartments.  Please Mr. Anderson, keep your promise!



    1. “Anderson and his minions
      “Anderson and his minions tried to convince the city council and the citizens of Evanston that his proposal at 708 Church Stree was good for the city, we know how that turned out. ”

      No, we don’t know how that turned out…the 708 Church project was never built, partly because of the Crash of 2008, and partly because of obnoxious NIMBY obstruction. So you have this ugly, old, low-rise building in the center of downtown….what a terrible waste of space.

      And what is this new fake issue of being ‘too close to the Perlman Apartments’? Is there some reason that no new projects should be allowed anywhere near this building?

    2. Spiteful

      Rubbish. Personally, I thank Focus for coming in and finishing the 1717 Ridge project, filling that stalled out, eyesore of a hole in the ground was a great benefit to the whole community, as was the Sherman Plaza development. Thank you. It's too bad nimby's spout off with their prejudiced, unfair and tendentious nonsense towards companies that have made contributions benefiting our community.

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