New 831 Emerson plan up for review

A new proposal to develop the 831 Emerson St. site in Evanston is scheduled for review by the city's Design and Project Review Committee next Wednesday.

The plans, from CA/Focus Evanston JV, LLC, call for a nine-story, 242-unit residential building with 3,330 square feet of ground floor commercial space and 175 parking spaces.

Rezoning would be required for the development. The site now is split between C1 Commercial and R5 General Residential zones. The developer is seeking C1a Commercial Mixed Use zoning as well as a special use permit for a convenience store.

The site now is occupied by a convenience store and a commercial laundry.

The proposal would also require approval of several site development allowances and will need a two-thirds majority vote by the City Council to be approved.

A previous proposal from the same developer for the site, which initially called for a 14-story building, later reduced to 12-stories, was rejected by the City Council a year ago, even though it would have generated $1 million a year in new property tax revenue -- largely because of concerns that it was designed to provide housing for college students.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the latest proposal calls for the units to be rented as conventional apartments -- not on the per-bed model in the previous proposal.

The size of the new project has been scaled down somewhat since it was first reported by Evanston Now last month when it was listed as having 265 dwelling units.

It now calls for 72 studio units averaging 390 square feet, 40 one-bedroom units averageing 575 square feet, 93 two-bedroom units averaging 815 square feet and 38 three-bedroom units averaging 1,153 square feet.

The plans call for one level of underground parking as well as parking on the ground level and a mezzanine level.

The  Design and Project Review Committee meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, at the Civic Center. The project is also scheduled to be on the agenda for a joint 1st and 4th Wards meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at the Evanston Public Library.

Detailed plans for the project are available online in the meeting packet for the DAPR meeting.

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Much better design - build it!

I think this is a great revision to the previous plan, and like how the towers are recessed in the middle so as not to impose too much on the streetscape. Density, especially along the Purple Line corridor, is exactly what Evanston should be encouraging. New retail in this part of town will also be a welcome addition. Hope this gets approved. 

A kiddy park, perhaps?

Does anyone think the NIMBY neighbors of 831 [and other projects] will be satisfied with anything---maybe short of a kiddy park. Maybe the owner of 831 [and others] will pull out of any plan, tear down the business [decrease property tax] and leave a big hole ! Who would propose to building in Evanston---it is not worth the drawn-out hassle with NIBMY neighbors---let alone the Council and the myriad tentacles which seem to want to kill all development to prove their existence is necessary.