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Evanston Plan Commission rejects 33-story apartment tower

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The high-rise proposal is looking to take the title as Evanston’s tallest

Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Wednesday night, the Evanston Plan Commission voted 7-0 against a 33-story apartment tower proposed for 601 Davis Street. According to a report from Evanston Now, the commissioners deemed the building to be too tall and the on-site parking insufficient. The final version of the plan had specified 318 dwelling units, 176 parking spaces, and about 7,500 square feet of retail space.

Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Slated to replace a drive-through bank and long-vacant lot, the downtown development also included a provision to preserve the nearby historic University Building at the corner of Davis and Chicago Avenue. The glassy project comes from Vermillion Development and Chicago design architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz.

Despite the unanimous thumbs down, yesterday’s decision doesn’t necessarily mean the project is completely done for. The vote from the Evanston Plan Commission basically amounts to a recommendation for the Evanston City Council to later consider—or potentially ignore. The 601 Davis Street plan is expected to go before the Council for a final vote in early 2018.

If it is ultimately approved, the 353-foot tower would become Evanston’s tallest building, eclipsing the 22-story international style Chase Bank Tower to the site’s immediate northwest.

Meanwhile, an even taller Evanston project is on the drawing board at 1700 block of Sherman Avenue. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the combination hotel/apartment development will include a new space for Northlight Theatre and top out at 395 feet.