Dempster affordable housing plan advances

Design of 2215 Dempster Street after trellis removed.

A city staff committee Wednesday approved minor changes to plans for a three-story, 16-unit affordable housing building at Dempster Street and Pitner Avenue in Evanston.

After City Council last September denied a request for $550,000 in affordable housing funds to support the development proposed by Housing Opportunities for Women, architect Michael Newman revised plans to reduce the cost of the project at 2215 Dempst St.

Changes affect the entry from the parking lot on the west side of the building and include replacement of a two-story bay window and a glass curtain wall with standard windows.

In addition, Newman said, a trellis on the west side of the building has been removed, and a mesh fence that matched the trellis has been simplified to a steel fence with vertical balasters.

In response to a question, Newman said that if more funding were available, the trellis and other exterior elements might be restored.

The developers are still waiting on a final permit for demolition of a building currently on the site.

The revised plans were approved by the Design & Project Review Committee.

After the meeting Britt Shawver, CEO of Housing Opportunities for Women, said that funding for the project now is sufficient to move forward with construction and they expect to do so.

The project has drawn opposition from some neighbors who claim additional affordable housing should not be placed in their moderate income neighborhood.

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