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Spring construction start seen for high-rise on Howard

The developer of a proposed 17-story rental apartment building on Howard Street just west of the El station plans to break ground on the much-delayed project in March or April.

But Bill Patrun of Bristol Chicago Development LLC told 8th Ward residents at a neighborhood meeting last night that “a couple little pieces of the puzzle still need to fall together” to meet that schedule.

He said his firm has requested caisson and foundation permits from the city and is developing construction and working drawings.

The project at 413-421 Howard St., which was approved by the City Council on March 8, 2004, calls for 221 apartments on the upper 13 floors with 245 parking spaces on the lower four floors.

Mr. Patrun said the developers will be seeking monthly rents of $1.80 to $2 per square foot, so an 800 square foot one-bedroom apartment might rent for $1,450 per month.

“We’re going to be competitive with downtown Evanston, where rents are a little higher,” Mr. Patrun said, adding that the tax increment financing district the project is part of makes the lower rents possible.

“Our market will be single professionals, empty nesters and ‘double income, no kids’ couples,” he said.

Unit sizes will range from 500 square foot studios to 1,200 square foot two-bedroom apartments.

The project site backs up on the CTA rail yard, and is so narrow that the city had to vacate an alley between the property and the rail yard to make the design viable.

“All units will have unobstructed views of the lake,” Mr. Patrun said.

Last year the city completed a project to extend a 16-inch water main down Chicago Avenue from South Boulevard to provide a sufficient water supply to the new building.

Public Works Director David Jennings said the city still needs to “turn the corner” at Howard Street and extend the line to the building site.

Mr. Patrun said it’s expected to take 18 months to complete construction of the building, with occupancy sometime toward the end of 2007.

The new development is expected to generate $700,000 a year in additional property tax revenue.

For the more than two-decades remaining in the life of the TIF district that money will be used to spur further development in the Howard Street area, Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said.

Ald. Rainey said the city now contributes $600,000 a year to Evanston’s school districts from TIF funds and that amount will increase by $200,000 when the Bristol project is completed.

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