Representatives of the Housing Authority of Cook County presented preliminary plans for an addition to its Perlman Apartments development at 1900 Sherman Ave. at an Evanston 1st Ward meeting Tuesday night.

Alesia Hushaw from the housing authority said the plans call for an 11-story structure to be constructed on what’s now a surface parking lot for the Perlman building at the northwest corner of Sherman Avenue and Emerson Street.

The parking lot site, in a recent image from Google Maps.

She said the building would contain parking for 40 cars, up from 22 in the open lot now, and would include 80 apartment units as well as ground floor retail space facing Emerson.

She said the mix of income levels for the building would be determined by the funding sources used for the project, which haven’t been nailed down yet, but that the building would be aimed to serve seniors and the disabled.

Architect Juan Moreno said the new apartments would range in size from 600 to 900 square feet, larger than the units in the existing Perlman building, which has 110 units.

Parking for the new building would be reached through the Perlman buiding’s existing south driveway on Sherman Avenue, which would be widened to handle two-way traffic.

Sarah Flax and Alesia Hushaw.

Sarah Flax, Evanston’s housing and grants administrator, said the housing authority, in addition to its Perlman and Walchirk apartment buildings in Evanston, also operates 45 units of scattered site housing in the city and provides 575 families with housing choice vouchers.

Flax said the new plans represent an exciting opportunity to provide needed affordable housing near downtown. Waiting lists for both the Perlman and Walchirk developments are currently closed.

The new HACC building would be located just east of the nine-story 811 Emerson residential development that’s now under construction on the site of a former drycleaning plant.

One resident of the Sherman Gardens co-op complex on the south side of Emerson claimed that the new developments would create “a flood zone” on the street, but Moreno said new building would have a permeable roof.

The city has requirements for water detention on development sites, the architect said, and this building would more than meet those requirements.

Community Development Director Johanna Leonard said the HACC proposal hasn’t yet reached the initial zoning analysis stage of the city’s review process, so no other public meetings about the development have been scheduled yet.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Skip the retail. Plenty of
    Skip the retail. Plenty of retail space south and west. Find another active use for the ground floor.

    1. Retail

      Hi Alan,

      A health clinic or daycare facility were other options mentioned for that space. Those “active” enough for you?

      — Bill

      1. Budget question
        Hi Bill, Who pays for all this?
        Evanston’s budget already can’t be covered as is, and having to add to it to expand a building that is horrible, doesn’t add anything to revenue, and no one is asking for doesn’t make much sense to me.

        1. Who pays

          Hi 5th,

          This project — if it happens — would be funded by the Housing Authority of Cook County. Exact funding sources weren’t specified, but typically these projects are largely funded through state and federal grants and through issuance of debt that gives the lenders federal tax credits.

          So it would typically not directly impact the city’s budget.

          Since both similar existing projects in Evanston have long waiting lists for apartments, it’s probably not accurate to claim that “no one is asking for” such a development. How many immediate neighbors of the site are asking for it is another question.

          — Bill

        2. Who Pays ? Taxpayers !

          Whether it is ‘grants’, city funds, TIF funds or any other ‘supposed’ free money from a government body, it is taxpayers who pay—taxes have or will be raiseed ot pay the funds out.

          If push the cost to the contractors, guess what—they build the cost into their bids, sale/rental price. So no matter where they think they put [hide] the cost, taxpayers, renters, buyers pay for it.

          There is no FREE money.

          1. So …

            Hi Guest,

            So, in the hypothetical event that the federal government created a new infrastructure spending program, you believe Evanston should refuse to accept any of the money and see it all spent elsewhere while our taxes are used to pay for it, right?

            I think everyone is already aware that there is no “free” money. The question simply is whether we will get back a portion of what we paid in taxes or not. I can see that you think we shouldn’t.

            — Bill

          2. There is only so much money

            I wrote this to remind people “it is not free”  which everyone seems to think money is free. People must think “is this where money should be spent.”

            As even Senators have said, “we need to get our share of the pork”—Carol Moseley Braun and Paul Simon [wanted military bases in Illinois even while protesting the military budgets]  If everyone wants to feed from the trough—well eventually you run out of money [unless you want more taxes].

            Is the money ot be spent of education, inner city [or very poor states],  infrastructure, etc..

            This request is for Senior housing, but look how poorly the city has done with affordable housing despite fees and Evanston having more [percent] than other communites have.  What about all the funds spent or wanted to spend on arts, buildings [like enviorment centers] ?

            Everyone wants their piece of the pie–and hang anyone else.

          3. Cook County

            ~~HACC or Cook County have no money for it, believe me, I used to work there. However, such “phantom projects” that will never materialized keep a lot of people at the County and local governments “busy” and employed- it keeps their fat paychecks and benefits flowing. And that’s what’s all about, hamster wheel, to show how “busy and caring” these people are with no verifiable and measurable end results.
            LOVE TRUMP!

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