City panel to review Merion Legacy project

A rendering of the proposed new building, center, and its neighbors on the block.

Evanston's Design and Project Review Committee today will review plans for a 19-story senior living development at 1621 Chicago Ave.

The proposed Merion Legacy building from Horizon Realty Group would have two levels of underground parking for a total of 85 cars and a total of 240 residential units ranging in sizes from studios to three-bedroom units.

The project, in the D4 downtown zoning district, will require five site development allowances for approval as proposed and will ultimately need approval of a two-thirds majority of the City Council.

The proposal calls for:

  • A floor area ratio of 11.62, more than twice that specified in the zoning code.
  • A building height just under 212 feet, compared to 105 feet, or 145 with allowances.
  • Two-hundred-forty dwelling units where 54 would be allowed.
  • Eighty-five parking spaces where 185 are called for.
  • One short loading dock, where a minimum of two are required.

The plans have also drawn objections from city staff for having the parking entrance off the street rather than the alley.

Horizon Realty several years ago bought and renovated the former North Shore Hotel on the northeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Davis Street and more recently completed an addition to the north of that building. The new high-rise would continue that expansion to the north and replace a row of single-story storefronts.

The DAPR meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Room 2404 at the Civic Center.

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