A city-developed affordable housing complex includes one of the 11 properties police identified Monday as the biggest crime and nuisance hotspots in Evanston.

The  Emerson Square development — with 32 units in a mix of apartment and townhouse buildings — opened two years ago with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

The project, built on a shuttered factory and warehouse site, was funded in part with a portion of the city’s $18.1 million federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant, and the buildings are now owned by the city’s private partner in the project, Brinshore Development.


The other ten locations are all older buildings owned by individual private landlords.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, in an email message to Evanston Now this morning about the troubled Emerson Square unit at 1916 Ashland Ave., said, “The property manager has been working to evict the tenant.”

He added that the tenant is not the direct cause of the problems that have led to 76 police calls to the building over the past year, but that family members of the tenant have caused the problems.

“The tenant is going through an appeal process of the eviction and the difficulties continue,” Bobkiewicz says.

Brinshore promised during the approval process for the Emerson Square project to carefully screen applicants for the affordable housing units.

Related stories

City officials plan crackdown on problem properties (11/16/15)

City plans nuisance property crackdown (11/16/15)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Major progress.
    Now thats the action I have been waiting for from EPD, this is something these landlords will take serious. Now it up to the people in the community to do their part and report illegal activities. Idlers and gangs is not going to make me leave evanston. THANK YOU EPD.
    CHICAGO is going to copy these laws soon.

  2. Too bad for other 31 units

    The Emerson Square Development is a nice complex and sadly one bad apple can ruin the bunch.

    The other residents are law abiding people and this one unit shouldn't cast a cloud over the residents of the other units. Get rid of the bad apple and let the others shine.

    Thank you EPD for your work. 

    1. Crackdown

      Is it a matter of cause and effect that attention has given rise to a matter that a deceased woman found on a property prompted an announcement to the public that there are homes that are being investigated and just maybe something will be done to give hope that Evanston is not only the most  liveable city to a certain percentage of its citizens living in the other wards.   70+ calls to the police department for a tenant that is supported by a landlord  that  will allow, or not having laws to support the eviction of a problem tenant.  Loitering is not illegal. Nor is standing on corners where the bus doesn't stop..  I wonder what are the duties of the Problem Solving Team that cannot put a stop to undesirable behavior.  Please make it known why it has taken so long and the results that have improved these activities…

    1. You can’t and shouldn’t generalize

      Not all people who live in affordable housing are criminals.

      A sweeping generalization may serve a political purpose, but it doesn't help address the issue.

      Any criminal activity in affordable or any housing should be addressed, and when the police know about areas or homes with criminal activity, then more attention and resources need to be focused on those locations.

      There are many law abiding adults and families who live in affordable housing who are trying to improve their situations and it's unfair to generalize and denigrate their character.

      As I stated before, "get rid of the bad apple and let the others shine."


    2. Affordable housing

      There are 11 properties on the list and only 1 of them is affordable housing. So, Jon Yancy, you saying get rid of it, is basically say get rid of people that that don't make a lot of money from the area.

      You must be one of those people that live in Evanston and keep denying that 5th ward is part of Evanston too. or telling people don't go there to support the businesses or buy homes too.

      Please do your research, the other 10 properties the landlord don't live there, they live in Skokie, Wilmette or the other wards in Evanston. and to the other comment saying cut their lights off. how evil is that of you. turn the lights off so humans beings don't have heating or cooling.

    1. This too shall pass

      Does anyone really believe the Council will do anything about this ?

      No, it is just publicity for them to stay in office and they, and they hope voters, will soon forget about it.

      The number of police calls to these residences, supposedly the alderman living across the street and people just keeping their eyes open should have caused action long ago.

  3. How Ironic
    How Ironic is it that one of the buildings that is creating a nuisance is one created by the City Of Evanston , what happened to background checks? Can any of the aldermen answer that? property that was supposed to have a zero tolerance policy, and for Evanston residents.Evanston residents were denied housing here and it was given to residents coming from Chicago,and to maliciously go after other homeowners when one of the problems was in their own backyard . More than Seventy-six calls, looks like they dropped the ball. Time for Ms. Madigan to visit Evanston

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