Evanston’s Land Use Commission voted 5-1 Wednesday night to recommend City Council approval of plans for a five-story, 60-unit subsidized housing development at 504-514 South Blvd.

The vote came after the commission heard from nine speakers including affordable housing advocates who praised the proposal and nearby neighbors — some of whom supported it and others who said they could only support a smaller project or who opposed the development completely.

Kiril Mirintchev.

The only commissioner to vote against the plan, architect Kiril Mirintchev, said he believed the building could be redesigned so more of the units would have windows on multiple exposures and that the height of the building could be reduced by changing the structural system used to support the floors.

Commissioner Max Puchtel said he was “really excited about the project” and that it represented an enormous opportunity to have a transit-oriented development just a block from the South Boulevard CTA Purple Line station.

The development is called South Boulevard Shores by developer PIRHL, although it is located five blocks from the Lake Michigan shore.

Architect Tiffany Ackerman with Hooker DeJong, Inc. and Johana Casanova, senior vice president of development for PIRHL, LLC.

The property now contains an under-utilized city owned parking lot and four townhomes owned by the Housing Authority of Cook County.

The city is donating its land to the development.

Public discussion of the project started several years ago.

Developer Johana Casanova said the project would be owned by PIRHL, HACC and an entity formed to represent the low income housing tax credit investors in the development.

Forty-two of the units, subsidized by the LIHTC program, would be available to households with incomes up to 80% of area median income, which would currently amount to an income cap of $88,240 for a family of four.

The other 18 units, subsidized by both LIHTC and Housing Authority of Cook County project based vouchers, would be available to households who would pay up to 30% of their income towards rent.

The development will contain a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units. And it will also have 20 extra parking spaces available for lease to the public.

The plan now advances to the City Council for discussion at its Sept. 26 meeting.

Assuming the Council gives final approval to the project, PIRHL’s Casanova says it could be ready for occupancy by the summer of 2025.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


      1. There will be a shiny, expensive new school there sometime in the new future. People will want to move there. So which is it? A place where no one wants to be, or everyone will want to move?

    1. Cool – send them to Mayor Biss’ neighborhood. I’m waiting for him show us what he tells us that we all should be doing. Bring Preckwinkle too. I’m sure his neighbors will love it.

      Lead by example Mr. Mayor. Don’t even think about putting them in the 2nd or 5th ward. We will fight you on this and it won’t be a nice fight. You will see 2 wards + businesses rise up against you and unite as one. I know you’re going to try it but we will be ready. We’re already preparing.

      It’s not that we don’t want to help, we all want to. What we want to see everyone do their “fair share”. We are done being your dumping ground for the homeless/migrants. We are not a sanctuary city, that is Chicago. They need to come up with a plan that does not include dumping them on other cities and raising taxes to fund this mess they created.

      This message also goes out to Northwestern. Feel free to house them at your university. Pay your fair share, everyone do their part. C’mon now Mr. Mayor and Northwestern, let’s see you lead by example.

  1. I was one of the (9) residents mentioned in the Evanston Now article that voiced many concerns about the ‘South Boulevard Shores’ affordable housing project.  

    The concerns I expressed at the meeting included:
    Project Observations- 
    A. ​ Why so many variances, entire development seems out of character for the location and neighborhood  
          1. Occupant Density 
          2. Structural Height
          3. Side-Yard Setback 
          4. Street Side-Yard Setback
          5. Impervious Surface Ratio
          6. Off-Street Loading – No dedicated loading dock

    B.  Concerns around developer financing and funding- – Lack of transparency
    C.  Concerns around ‘Affordability’ – Vetting Process- Tenant Eligibility, credits, vouchers- again lack of transparency
    D.  Concerns around building management and property management after construction – Unnamed new company?  
    E.  Concerns around tenant demographics – Previous proposals went from 60/40 affordable mix to 80/20 now it’s to 100% affordable

    Final Notes:  
    – City of Evanston- Ordinances Map Amendment – Zoning- R4 to R5 – Passed
    – City of Evanston- Land Use Commission- Zoning Standards and Ordinance Review-  (5) of (6) Project Variances Approved 
    – City of Evanston- Land Use Commission- Approved Project Proposal- with (1) design change recommendation- Structure shall include a Loading Dock

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *