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Trader Joe’s moves closer to approval

Evanston aldermen on a 7-1 vote gave preliminary approval Monday to changes to a planned development at 1890 Maple Ave. to make the building’s design work for a proposed Trader Joe’s market.

The changes in the 14-story project proposed by developer Robert King also eliminate second-floor retail space at the site, which reduces the parking required by the project and eliminates the need for King to lease 44 off-site spaces at the city’s Maple Avenue garage.

The new plan calls for providing 66 parking spaces on the building’s second floor for the grocery, with parking for residents of the building’s apartment units on floors above that.

Despite objections from one neighbor, the aldermen approved plans to shift the auto entrance to the building from a rear alleyway off University Place to the west end of the building’s Emerson Street facade.

Delivery trucks would still use the rear alley, and to accommodate the 62-foot semi-trucks used by the grocer, two metered parking spaces will have to be eliminated on University Place.

The developer will be required to reimburse the city for about $4,500 in lost annual revenue from those meters, despite an effort by Alderman Ann Rainey, 2nd Ward, to have that fee waived.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said the city has required such payments from developers in the past and shouldn’t break with the policy now.

Rainey noted that many parking spaces around the site are not metered and suggested the parking committee that Wynne chairs should consider adding meters in those areas.

The city’s engineering staff reviewed the developer’s revised traffic analysis and concluded that the new entrance off of Emerson "should operate in a safe manner."

In addition to the payment for the lost parking meters, the developer will be required to pay for widening the turning radius of intersections leading to the rear drive.

The revisions are scheduled for a final vote at the City Council’s Aug. 11 meeting.

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