Senior complex set for city review

A view of the planned building from the east side of the Metra tracks.

Plans for an 11-story independent living and assisted living facility at the former National School Towel Service site on Ridge Avenue are now scheduled to be reviewed by Evanston's Plan Commission on March 9.

It's the second of three major developments now working their way through the city's approval process.

The new building, proposed by Centrum Partners LLC, which won approval last year for a transit-oriented development at 1571 Maple Ave., is designed for individuals 55 and older and is planned to have 165 units and 55 parking spaces. The units sizes would range from studios to two-bedroom-plus-den apartments.

A view of the planned building looking north along Ridge Avenue.

The project was first unveiled at a 2nd Ward meeting last fall.

The latest design calls for access to the building to be off an extension of Oak Avenue that once was known as West Railroad Avenue, and the developers plan to call it 1816 Oak Ave. But the planned development documents refer to it by the 1815 Ridge Ave. address of the now-demolished towel laundry building.

The first of the three projects currently under review, a 12-story building targeted to college student tenants at 831 Emerson was approved by the Plan Commission last week.

It's tentatively scheduled for review by the City Council's Planning and Development Committee on Feb. 8. But Community Development Director Mark Muenzer says continuing negotiations with that developer over public benefits could postpone that review.

The third project, a 27-story tower planned for 601 Davis St., hasn't been formally scheduled for the Plan Commission yet, but Muenzer says, assuming it takes two monthly-meetings for the commission to review the 1815 Ridge project, the Davis street plan is likely to reach the Plan Commission in May.

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Comments

Too Tall!

And there goes my view of the Baha'i Temple. Of course, I'm sure there were grumblings about my eight story building when it was erected in 1948.

and Not Enough Parking!

The Developers have NEVER done any kind of Senior Housing and have "figured" that 3/4 of the workers (yes there are workers in the building!) will be taking PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION to and from work.  They don't account for shift overlaps or seem to think that most Seniors in Independent Living will NOT have cars!   I know Seniors that have moved to ASSISTED Living that still hang on to their cars even if they don't drive them.  They also seem to think that all the Residents will just "walk" everywhere.  Really? Do they have ANY data to support their projections of how the workers plan to get to and from work?  This is not an apartment building for commuters.  The building will be staffed 24/7 with admin, RNs, CNAs, PCTs, Caregivers, Kitchen staff etc.  And if you move there, don't expect any visits from family. They won't have anywhere to park.  Maybe the developers figure everyone will just Uber their way to and from this place.  

I have to agree

Having experienced both assisted living and nursing homes with my parents, parking is a very important aspect of choosing where the family will place a parent(s). We specifically ruled out any institution on the North side of Chicago (Rodgers Park, Edgewater, Uptown) simply because parking is so difficult. And you are correct as to the large number of staff that is required to keep a quality senior citizen establishment functioning 24/7/365. For those readers who are unfamiliar with choosing senior housing for a loved one, parking should be your first priority, followed by quality of care balanced with cost.

Parking - Urban Planning

I not only support your argument that the parking accomodations are ill conceived (likely driven purely by cost and return for the developer) but claim that we have a far larger issue at hand. Development and and overall density is not the issue per se. Lack of Urban Planning is something most cities across the USA suffer. A transportation schema is one of several critical elements required to deliver a successful plan. I am not advocating tying every project up in gobs of red tape rather presenting the notion that reviewing each plan, one-by-one, is a formula for failure. In the end, if true Urban Planning methods are engaged and developed, all the citizens of Evanston will reap returns.