Lower height lowers hurdle to approval for Albion


When the Albion Residential planned development on Sherman Avenue goes back before Evanston aldermen Monday it will be 15-stories tall, rather than the 16-story project that was held at the Planning and Development Committee two weeks ago.

That, and a few other changes, mean the developers no longer are asking for more than the maximum site development allowances that a simple majority of aldermen can approve under the city’s zoning code.

Projects that ask for more than that require a two-thirds approval vote.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key changes:

  • The building height is reduced from 177.5 feet to 166.3 feet.
  • The number of dwelling units is reduced from 286 to 273.
  • The floor area ratio is reduced from 6.78 to 5.99.
  • The number of parking spaces is increased from 186 to 200.
  • The ziggurat setback is increased from zero to 5 feet at the south end of the building.
  • The ground-floor commercial space is reduced from 9,321 to 6,800 square feet, and from three to two storefronts.

The development at 1450-1508 Sherman Ave. would replace a mix of mostly single-story commercial buildings, surface parking and a vacant lot on the block.

The develoer has offered to provide a $2.7 million contribution to the city’s affordable housing fund plus two on-site studio units rented at 60 percent of aera median income, or in the alternative to provide 15 on-site units and no fee-in-lieu.

The developer has also committed to provide a variety of public benefits, including funds for maintaining Harper Park across the street from the site and a publicly accessible pocket park at the south end of the site, a contribution toward public art, repainting the Lake Street Metra viaduct, two publicly accessible car-share spaces on the site.

The Plan Commission voted 4-2 last month to recommend approval of the development.

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