Luxury rentals haven’t replaced affordable housing here


Despite oft-repeated claims, new high-end rental developments in Evanston haven’t destroyed affordable housing. In fact, they generally haven’t destroyed any housing at all.

Here’s a rundown, with pictures, of what used to exist on the sites of major apartment developments constructed this decade in Evanston.

AMLI Evanston – 2013

The six-story AMLI Evanston development at 737 Chicago Ave., shown above, was completed in 2013. It has 214 rental apartments.

Here’s what the site looked like in a 2011 Google Maps photo when it had single-story retail shops and a shuttered auto dealership.

1717 Ridge Apartments – 2013

1717 Ridge is an eight-story building with 175 rental units completed in 2013.

In 2007, when this Google Maps image was taken, the site was a hole in the ground left when construction halted in the Sienna condominium project.

Before that it had been a parking lot for the former Wiebolt’s department store, going back at least to the 1950s.

Central Station – 2013

Central Station, a four-story, 80-unit apartment complex at 1720 Central Street, was completed in 2013.

As shown in this 2007 image, it was built on the site of the shuttered Evanston Theater. One single-family home was also demolished for this development.

E2 – 2015

The twin towers of E2, 14-stories at 1890 Maple Ave. and 16-stories at 1881 Oak Ave., were completed in 2015 and contain 352 rental units.

Cleared decades ago as part of the Research Park development, the 1881 Oak parcel was still just a vacant lot in this 2011 Google Maps photo, while 1890 Maple had a vacant three-story office building.

The Main – 2016

The Main, at 847 Chicago Ave., has 112 apartment units. The nine-story building was completed in 2016.

Turn the Google Maps time machine back to 2007 and we see that it replaced a two-story retail and office building.

1620 Central – 2017

The four-story rental building at 1620 Central St., shown here in a rendering, is leasing up its 47 units this fall.

It was built on the site of a two-story vacant office building which had once been proposed for conversion to a dorm for National Louis University.

Centrum Evanston – 2017

The 12-story, 101-unit Centrum Evanston building at 1571 Maple Ave. is nearing completion this fall.

The property, which also has frontage on Elmwood Avenue and Davis Street, formerly housed a funeral home and its parking lot — which is seen in this 2007 Google Maps photo.

Add it all up, and for the decade so far the tally is 1,081 new housing units added in seven developments, at the cost of one single family home lost.

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