It took eight years, but developer Michael McLean was able to celebrate the opening of the Trulee Evanston senior living community at a ribbon cutting Thursday.

McLean, of Condor Partners, who lives in Evanston, said the project proved that it is possible to “hire locally and buy locally” for development, and “to be as true a community partner as possible.”

Michael McLean.

The 163-unit development, with an estimated cost of $75 million, is a partnership of Condor and Denver-based Solera Senior Living, which is managing the building’s operation.

Plans for the project were first unveiled in 2015 and went through numerous revisions as well as delays in arranging financing.

Peter Braithwaite.

Ald. Peter Braithwaite, whose 2nd Ward includes the development, said, “The building is top-notch.”

He praised McLean, saying, “I hope this isn’t your last project — that there are many more.”

He said the development process “checked all the boxes” from community meetings at the church next door to the “love and effort that went into making this project possible.”

“You made a commitment to hire locally, and you kept your word on all those things,” Braithwaite added.

Mayor Daniel Biss welcomed the building’s first new residents to the city and added that “this is an example of what success looks like in Evanston.”

Real estate taxes on the new building, at 1815 Norwood Court, just off Ridge Avenue south of Emerson Street, are expected to provide a major source of revenue to fund neighborhood improvements in the city’s new tax increment financing district, the Five Fifths TIF.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.