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Planners cool to 1890 Maple high rise

The Evanston Plan Commission wrapped up testimony on the proposed 14-story 1890 Maple Ave. rental residential and retail building at a hearing tonight. Four of five commissioners present indicated they will likely vote against the plan, but the commission postponed a formal vote until its next meeting, April 11.

The Evanston Plan Commission wrapped up testimony on the proposed 14-story 1890 Maple Ave. rental residential and retail building at a hearing tonight. Four of five commissioners present indicated they will likely vote against the plan, but the commission postponed a formal vote until its next meeting, April 11.

Fresh opposition to the plan was presented this evening by Ivan Kane, an attorney representing Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, which owns the three-story building just to the south, at 1001 University Place.

He said the University Place building is used to conduct magnetic resonance imaging research with multi-million dollar equipment that could be damaged by vibrations from construction of the new building and that ventilation units on top of the building create noise that would likely disturb tenants whose balconies are on the south side of the new building.

He also objected to the design proposed for the alley and turnaround area that is shared by existing buildings on the block.

But the project drew support from the Rev. Oscar Crear of Ebenezer AME Church, which owns the nine-story Primm Towers senior citizen housing project across the street from the site and other residential and commercial property in the neighborhood.

He said residents of the church-owned properties believe the project will provide new shopping opportunities and improve safety and security in the neighborhood and that business owners believe residents of the new buildings will be new customers for their shops.

With nine members on the commission, the final outcome of the vote could change, depending on which members are present for the next meeting.

The final decision on the project is up to the City Council, which recently approved an 18-story project from the same developer, Carroll Properties, for a site at 1881 Maple Ave., just west of the new project, despite an unfavorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

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