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New developer has plan for Kendall site

A new developer has emerged for the Kendall College block in Evanston.

A rendering of Granite’s plan for the Kendall site.

Granite Investment Properties, Inc. of Oak Park has submitted a request to the city to resubdivide the vacant full-block site in northeast Evanston that once housed the culinary school.

The current owner of the site, Smithfield Properties, won approval over three years ago from the City Council for a planned development to build 20 single family homes there, after a three-year fight by residents to block Smithfield’s original plan for a multi-family development.

But after Smithfield demolished the college buildings, the project stalled in the general downturn in the real estate market.

Granite has told the city it has a contract to purchase the site from Smithfield.

The Smithfield plan approved for the site featured private alleys and a mid-block courtyard that would be shared by the residents.

The current Smithfield subdivision of the Kendall site.

Granite’s plan is much more conventional — eliminating the courtyard and using a public T-alley design common in Evanston.

The plan is to be reviewed by the Preservation Commission at its meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

At a commission committee meeting Thursday, city staff indicated the new design meets all provisions of the city code for building lots in the site’s R-1 zone.

And committee members present said they saw no basis for rejecting the proposal under the city’s historic preservation ordinance. The college site is part of the Northeast Evanston Historic District.

The final proposal to be reviewed by the commission varies a bit from the color rendering originally submitted by the applicants and pictured above. In the final proposal, the two lots closest to Sherman Avenue would be 50 feet wide instead of the 45 feet shown on the drawing, and correspondingly, the depth of the lots facing Orrington Avenue would be five feet less.

The Preservation Commission Tuesday is also scheduled to consider a proposal to create a new local historic district on Chicago Avenue downtown which would include the four buildings of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

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