Evanston aldermen Monday voted to give Focus Development an extra year to complete its proposed rental apartment building on the failed Sienna condominum site at Ridge Avenue and Clark Street.

The vote came after Focus attorney Gregg Graines said the developer has submitted plans for building permit approvals and hopes to start construction later this winter.

But, Graines said, with the risk of construction delays caused by unpredictable winter weather, the development team isn’t confident it can finish the project by the Oct. 1, 2013, deadline set when the council originally approved the planned development.

So the aldermen voted to extend the completion deadline to Oct. 1, 2014.

The Sienna site was originally developed by Tom Roszak. But he was forced into backruptcy after two of what was originally planned to be four eight-story condominium buildings were completed.

The rest of the site has been a gaping hole in the ground for the past several years.

The new building is planned to have 174 apartment units in an eight-story building.

Top: Architect George Halik presenting the Focus Development plans at a Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee meeting in August.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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