A developer plans a six-story condo building for the site of an auto dealership at 1001 Chicago Ave.

A rendering of the 1001 Chicago Ave. proposal looking northeast.
In plans presented to city officials today, developer Richard Hawthorne said the planned building would include 65 condominiums, 3,300 square feet of ground-level retail space and 92 parking spaces in the basement and ground-floor levels.

The developer’s attorney, James Murray, said that at 67-feet tall the building meets the city’s height limit for the C1a commercial zone in which it’s located. The plans call for a 3.4 floor area ratio, under the 4.0 ratio allowed by the zoning.

He said the project requires review as a planned development only because it includes more units than the minimum required to trigger that review.


The 1001 Chicago Ave. site.
The Auto Barn car dealership that currently occupies the site on the northeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Lee Street is relocating to property further north on the same block that was recently vacated by a Toyota dealership.

The property is across Lee Street from the South Branch of the Evanston Public Library.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, in whose 3rd Ward the site is located, said she was impressed with the building’s design, saying it’s better than she had expected.

“But I don’t think the neighbors want to see another six-story building on Chicago Avenue,” she said, noting that several other properties within a few blocks of the site are expected to be proposed for redevelopment in coming months.

The developer said the building exterior will be constructed of a reddish-brown brick with off-white precast concrete trim on all four sides.

The units are expected to range in price from $265,000 to $400,000, with an average price of $365,000.

Assistant Community Development Director Carolyn Brzezinski noted that the lot line is very close to the edge of the Chicago Avenue roadway and suggested that the developer consider setting back at least the ground floor of the building to create an arcade that would provide a wider sidewalk and shelter pedestrians from rain.

Although the zoning for the property does not require such a setback, “it could be a much more successful project and be a much bigger benefit to the city with that,” she said. She added that the recently completed 900 Chicago Ave. building provides a good example of the benefits of the arcade treatment.


The arcade at the 900 Chicago Ave. building widens the sidewalk, but for much of its length is obstructed by large posts that support the building’s upper floors.

As a planned development, the project will require review by the Plan Commission and City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

4 Comments

  1. Is the ADA being following on Chicago Avenue?
    Junad Rizki

    It is my opinion the City of Evanston may not be following the ADA (American with disabilities Act) with the planned developments – the sidewalk you show in the picture is far to narrow for reasonable passage of wheelchairs. While some might suggest three feet is all that is need I do not think so given the building doors are openning into the path of the wheel chairs and the trees will grow.

    I believe the minimum width should be six feet to allow passage of two wheel chairs or one wheel chair and others. The federal standards show in the attachments such a diagram.

    1. ADA standards
      Interesting question, Junad.
      Why don’t you call the city’s specialist on services for the disabled, Brian Barnes, at 847-866-2932, ask him about it and then let Evanston Now readers know what you learn?

  2. additional comment on ADA and Chicago Ave
    Bill – take a look at the form based design links you have provided- ( by the way I think you journalism efforts are great – the article here are very informative and provide the readers with excellent information)

    If you look at some of the urban design sketches that show the street scape what I am seeing is in most cases six foot wide side walks. Also I noticed they want arcades of over 12 feet!

    “Assistant Community Development Director Carolyn Brzezinski noted that the lot line is very close to the edge of the Chicago Avenue roadway and suggested that the developer consider setting back at least the ground floor of the building to create an arcade that would provide a wider sidewalk and shelter pedestrians from rain.Although the zoning for the property does not require such a setback, it could be a much more successful project and be a much bigger benefit to the city with that, she said.”

    The article does not state what width side walk is being provided, ( other than stating the lot lines are very close to the streets )therefore I can not comment on the particular project.

    I am of the opinion the city zoning may be in conflict with the ADA and may violate the civil rights of our disable residents. As I stated the ADA is showing six foot sidewalks that is two wheel chairs should pass. I believe the federal law will override local zoning in a civil rights matter.

    The developer appears to be allowed to build to the property line by our zoning yet the city side walk appears to be too tight. How do we correct this – should the developer provide an arcade as suggested by the city or should the city narrow chicgo avenue street width for cars?

  3. Research this developer!!
    Greif Properties is developing this project and is currently involved with a very similar project in Chicago. The Chicago project, 657 W Fulton, is almost 2 years behind the delivery schedule and has had many different permiting issues, contractor issues and construction issues. The developer has not communicated with his buyers in over three years! Please check the BBB website and a blog that was established by frustrated purchasers. http://news.657fulton.com.

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