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Dallas-based developers Trammell Crow Company and City officials unveiled plans on Oct. 19 for a proposed 17-story “active adult” residential complex to be located at 1727 Oak Ave. 

Active adult communities are a relatively untested concept among real estate developers; there are only about 150,000-175,000 such units in the U.S., said Trammell Crow Principal Johnny Carlson. They are largely characterized by the level of amenities, which residents can choose to utilize or not, he added.

“It’s really about the socialization and getting people together in a unique living space,” Mr. Carlson said.

A parking lot is currently located on the site, which Trammell Crow is planning to buy from its current owner, FD Stonewater.

Officials characterized active adult communities as “a step below” independent living communities; residents are not required to make payments towards amenities that they may choose to provide for themselves, such as housekeeping or transportation. Rents within active adult communities average about 25% more than comparable market rates for equivalent units and about 35% less than units in independent living facilities. 

“You can pay for things if you want them,” said Mr. Carlson.

The average age of residents in active adult communities is about 72-73; the Oak Avenue project would allow residents at age 55.

As of the Oct. 19 meeting, project officials had not yet filed plans with City development officials, and said that the meeting was intended to solicit feedback from the community. The meeting coincided with a playoff game between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers, so the presentation was sparsely attended.

“I’m assuming everybody here is a White Sox fan,” said 2nd Ward Ald. Peter Braithewaite, in whose ward the building stands. Both he and Evanston Community Development Director Johanna Leonard emphasized that the project was in the concept phase.

“The model isn’t completely done,” said Aaron Roseth, president of Minneapolis-based ESG Architects, which designed the building. “A lot of the concepts are not in there yet.”

  Initial concepts have the 176-foot tall building offering about 169 units and 158 parking spaces. One audience member questioned whether so many spaces would really be needed in such a facility, but officials replied that the number was supported by their market research.

  Officials emphasized, however, that some of the parking facilities could be reconfigured should officials find they have more parking spaces than needed. The project would also offer about 12,000 square feet of amenity space, and feature a rooftop deck.

  The project would be subject to affordable-housing requirements of the City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. Developers would satisfy those with requirements largely with a payment in lieu providing some on-site affordable units (only 25% of the obligation would be met with on-site units). One audience member urged Mr. Carlson and his colleagues to make the percentage of on-site units larger. Rents in affordable units would be about $700 to 900 a month, officials said.

Other local Trammell Crow projects include Midtown Square in Glenview and Park 205 in Park Ridge.