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Wavy high-rise apartment tower pitched for downtown Evanston

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The 16-story proposal would contain nearly 300 new dwelling units


As Chicago works towards delivering 6,600 new apartment units this year, Evanston—the Windy City’s immediate neighbor to the north—is feeling the effects of the rental boom. The latest project hoping to leave its mark on downtown Evanston’s changing skyline is a 16-story tower from developer Albion Residential slated for 1454-1508 Sherman Avenue. If approved, the gently undulating building would replace a handful of low-rise buildings with 298 for-rent apartments atop a 192-vehicle parking garage and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.

In addition to its unusual wavy facade and alternating balcony cut-outs, the Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture design features a stilt-supported southern end, which will partially cantilever over a new 4,000-square-foot public park replacing Tommy Nevin’s pub. Building tenant amenities are expected to include a rooftop pool deck, grilling area, resident lounge, fitness center, dog run, and bike room.

“This is a strong location for TOD development,” said James Prescott with Albion. “The mix of [mostly studio and one-bedroom] units will appeal primarily to singles and couples who want to live close to transit to give them access to Chicago without driving into the city. They also want retail, restaurants and entertainment that Evanston offers within walking distance.”

A street level rendering looking south along Sherman Avenue.

While the project still has to navigate Evanston’s planned development process with trips to the Plan Commission and City Council to move forward, the developer hopes to break ground late this year and deliver the building in the fourth quarter of 2019—assuming a construction timetable of 18 months. Meanwhile, Albion Residential has also teamed up with HPA on a 265-unit rental tower proposed for downtown Oak Park, Illinois.

Back in Evanston, Albion’s project isn’t the only major high-rise on the drawing board for the city’s bustling downtown business district. Last month, Vermillion Development revealed its plans to construct a 318-unit apartment tower at 601 Davis Street. Designed to rise 33 stories, the high-rise would eclipse nearby Chase Bank Tower as Evanston’s tallest building. A 14-story office development is also in the works for 1720 Chicago Avenue.

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