Stephen Ross, center, of AMLI talked about the importance of sustainability at the grand opening, which was also a fundraiser for SAGE, a school gardening project.

Stephen Ross of AMLI Residential said his toast to the new apartment/retail complex on Chicago Avenue was also a toast to sustainability. The project features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes, several live-work lofts and on-site parking. Retail space is available, and Hoosier Mama Pies and Dollop Coffee shop are slated for opening there in the  fall.

The building is smoke-free, and many of the amenities and building materials are energy-efficient or sustainable, Mr. Ross said, adding that AMLI is seeking Silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  Guests were encouraged to make a $5 donation to SAGE, Schools Are Gardening in Evanston, a program of the Ecology Center that teaches children about growing plants and about nutrition.

“AMLI is one of the largest private investments in this part of Chicago Avenue,” Mr. Ross said. “I like to think it has spurred development, such as the Trader Joe’s, the [office] building at Main and Chicago, and the [in progress] net-zero-energy Walgreen’s.”

Mr. Ross thanked the Evanston community, Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne and those who attended the grand opening. He encouraged them to return and patronize the shops. “I love coffee,” he said. “I love pie.”