An affordable housing development that’s been roughly six years in the making may be close to entering the city’s formal development review process.

Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) has scheduled a ward meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31, to review plans from the city’s chosen developer for the site, PIRHL, to build a five-story building with 60 affordable housing units at 504-514 South Boulevard.

The site now contains a city parking lot and four townhomes owned by the Housing Authority of Cook County.

The concept of redeveloping the underutilized parking lot for housing was first suggested by Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th) in 2017.

But opposition from some neighbors delayed the project in 2019.

In 2021 the City Council rejected calls from the neighbors to limit development of the site to small townhomes, but opted not to give a developer the option of a true high-rise — of eight to 12 stories — that could have been achieved by rezoning the property to R6.

Instead PIRHL, selected as the developer last year, will be asking the city to rezone the property from its current R4 zoning to R5 to permit the proposed five-story building height.

The plans to be reviewed at the Aug. 31 meeting are updates of ones that PIRHL presented at an online meeting last October.

The latest plans call for 30 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom units.

Six one-bedroom, three two-bedroom and three three-bedroom units would be adaptable for handicapped use. And two of the three-bedroom units would be two-story townhouses.

All of the units would be affordable — eligible for occupancy by households with 30% to 80% of area median income.

In addition to parking for the residents of the new development, the site would retain 19 parking spaces to be leased to neighborhood residents or commuters.

The plans submitted to the city predict that construction would start before the end of this year and the building would open in the second quarter of 2025.

That assumes an unusually rapid city approval process. After next week’s meeting, to be held in Room 2404 at the Civic Center, the plans will still need to go through a hearing before the Land Use Commission and then be acted on by the City Council.

But given that the city has already selected PIRHL as the developer for the mostly city-owned site, the approval process — from this point — may be completed more quickly than usual.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Let’s hope the council listens to the neighborhood rather than the past view of Evanston as a whole. I will not be impacted by this project and so, unlike Albany Care II (née the Margarita Inn) I really shouldn’t have a strong voice in the outcome here.

  2. I’m really excited for this project to proceed. I live about 1.5 blocks away from this property. I think it is exactly the type of affordable housing project that Evanston needs. Close to transit. It includes units large enough for families. This is a very underutilized location.

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 *