Alderman Melissa Wynne, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Developer John O'Donnell cut the ribbon. Photo by Genie Lemieux, Evanston Photographic Studios

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A new luxury apartment complex, called The Main, has officially opened on what was, for longer than expected, an empty field on the southeast corner of Main Street and Chicago Avenue. Development of the site was delayed for many years, but there were no indications of past worries at the grand opening held on Oct. 24. Those on hand were delighted about the new addition to a bustling part of the City.

“I didn’t anticipate thinking about apartment living again,” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. The building is a “wonderful addition to Evanston and I love the office space” which will “support day-time traffic.” The mayor praised the “high-quality design” and the developers who “considered the neighborhood” when drafting the plan. “This is the kind of building we want in Evanston,” she said.

The nine-story Main boasts “a refined, technologically-enabled living experience,” and has 112 residential apartment units, including studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units.   Private balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows and a second floor landscaped terrace showcase the building’s urban setting, as does its close proximity to multiple means of public transportation. 

The building, which is 100% ADA compliant, has ground level retail space and second floor office space.

The building is the first development for Riverside Investment & Development Company, said John O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer. The company’s partners have worked together in previous projects, however, including The Park Evanston (1630 Chicago Avenue) and 1603 Orrington Street. The Main has the “quality aspirations we had hoped for,” said Mr. O’Donnell.

“I can’t believe it,” said Alderman Melissa Wynne, whose 3rd Ward is home to The Main. “We started with a field and now have a wonderful building.” She said she is excited that the building will “bring back life” to the corner and add to “the tax rolls.” She thanked everyone for their patience with “the City’s ideas” and touted the project as a “successful partnership.”

“It’s a jewel of a building,” said Kent Swanson, Executive Vice President, Riverside Investment & Development Company. “We are excited about the results.”

    A two-story retail/office building that was previously located on the site was demolished in 2007. At that time a developer proposed to build a nine-story mixed-use commercial and residential building on the site, called Mainstreet Station Condominiums, which would have included ground level retail and 71 residential units. However, the property went into foreclosure in late 2008. The site remained vacant since then.