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A new mixed-use development is coming to Chicago Avenue at Kedzie Street, between Main Street and South Boulevard.

The development will replace existing retail buildings, many unoccupied or in a state of disrepair, with approximately 214 dwelling units and 8,400 square feet of retail commercial space. The project will also include nearly 20 “live-work” units on the ground floor for businesses such as architects or art studios who will literally live at the office living space, separated from the street-level office or gallery space, but in the same unit.

Though the developer, Evanston DevCo, requested no zoning relief from the City, the size of the proposed project (more than 24 dwelling units) caused it to require City Council approval as a planned-unit development (PUD).

As reported in the Dec. 10 issue of the RoundTable, City Council wholeheartedly endorsed the project at its Dec. 8 meeting.

During that meeting, Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne congratulated Evanston DevCo LLC and AMLI Residential Developers for working closely with the community and City committees to improve and perfect its plans. She especially thanked them for listening to suggestions and making changes based on them.

In addition, Evanston DevCo agreed to a provision in the zoning ordinance that requires it to hire five Evanston employees to work on the project. Molly Podratz of AMLI said groundbreaking is anticipated by the end of 2009, with the first units delivered by the second quarter of 2011.