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Evanston developers file new plan for downtown office tower

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The project represents the city’s first ground-up office building in years

City of Evanston

After several years of discussion—and a change in the developer and architect—an office project proposed for downtown Evanston is ready to move forward and begin navigating the city’s approval process.

On Friday, a team consisting of R2, Paul Janicki Architects, and Holabird & Root filed an official zoning application for the 13-story development at 1714-1720 Chicago Avenue, reported Evanston Now. The plan would replace a former city-owned parking lot next to Evanston’s library with four floors of parking topped by nine levels of office space.

The filing is an early step in the overall development process. The proposal will require future trips to the city’s Design and Project Review Committee, Plan Commission, and City Council before breaking ground.

City of Evanston

Although Evanston’s recent building boom has been fueled by a thirst for new rental apartments, these developers are betting on a growing demand for office space as well. According to a consultant hired for the project, the city’s commercial market is especially strong with vacancies currently below 5 percent.

In other Evanston development news, the city recently OK’d a 17-story senior apartment complex at 1727 Oak Avenue. That building will replace a downtown surface lot with 169 age-restricted dwelling units and 136 parking spaces.