A mix of neighbors with doubts about the project and small contractors hoping for jobs building it turned out for a 2nd Ward meeting Thursday night about two planned high-rise towers on Emerson Street in Evanston.

The buildings, originally approved as separate planned developments for 1881 Oak Ave. and 1890 Maple Ave. in 2006 and 2007, are up for a possible vote by City Council Monday on revisions to their plans that combine what had been two separate parking structures into a combined base for the towers.

The new plans also reduce the height of the project. And in switching from one condo tower and one rental tower to two rental apartment towers the developers have also slightly increased the number of apartment units and reduced the average unit size.

Neighbors listen (top) as city planner Dennis Marino (above) describes revisions to the project plan.

The contractors, some of whom successfully lobbied the city for a larger role in the $18 million federally-funded Neighborhood Stablization Program housing rehabilitation program, are hoping the new private development will also help them grow their businesses.

Neighbors voiced a variety of concerns — many related to the traffic impact of the project. But they were told that an updated traffic study shows the project would not adversely impact traffic in the area.

The developers’ attorney, Gregg Graines, with developer Alan Schachtman, of the Fifield Companies.

They also asked who would pay for planned improvements to the streetscape around the buildings and were told that tab would be picked up by the developers.

Related stories

Related document

The revised planned development proposal (.pdf)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Yay! contractors!

    This is amazing!  Contractors showed up to spoil the NIMBY party!

    The NIMBYs ( who tend to be older, retired people) are always preventing development and new jobs.  It's about time that we heard from the people whose jobs are being destroyed by NIMBYs.

  2. Traffic, Fine, What About School Population?

    I am happy to see that the City is paying attention to the potential impact of high-density housing on traffic patterns.  However, I have watched Evanston public schools struggle with rising enrollment, particularly in the district (Dewey/Nichols) where these proposed developments will be located.  Are there any plans to investigate the impact of these buildings on schools?  With children who attended Dewey, I can say first hand that many students live in condos and high-rises, not just single family homes and you can bet that student enrollment in this district would go up, further taxing facilities already stretched beyond their capacities.  I am all for carefully considered develpopment and progress, and this seems like an overlooked issue….

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 *