From left, Josh Stark, vice president of construction at Focus, Mayor Stephen Hagerty; Bob Flannery, president of CA Residential; and Tim Anderson, CEO of Focus celebrate the groundbreaking of 811 Emerson on April 12. Submitted photo

On April 12, Chicago-based developers CA Ventures and Focus broke ground for their nine-story, 241-unit development at 811 Emerson St. The building will be U-shaped, with the legs of the U facing Emerson.

During the zoning process, the developers said there will be 71 studios, 40 one-bedroom units, 93 two-bedroom units, and 38 three-bedroom units. The one-bedroom units would be 525 square feet, and the three-bedroom units would be 1,153 square feet.

The project was approved by City Council on June 12, 2017. Council rejected an earlier proposal for the site on Feb. 22, 2016.

The apartment building will be near Northwestern University and Evanston’s downtown area, and close to the CTA and Metra stations at Davis Street. Apartments are scheduled to be available in the summer of 2019, with pre-leasing set to begin in the fall of 2018. 

“As a neighboring suburb of Chicago that is connected to the City’s transit network and home to a top-rated institution like Northwestern, Evanston has always provided the perfect mix of urban and suburban life, making it especially attractive for residential development,” said JJ Smith, principal of CA Ventures. “811 Emerson will meet the growing demand for centrally located, near-transit housing that is highly amenitized yet attainable.”

Members of the development team gathered with Evanston officials, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, local neighbors and design team members to mark the start of construction at the  groundbreaking ceremony held April 12.

“I’m so excited by what is going to happen here,” said Mayor Stephen Hagerty at the groundbreaking ceremony. “I’m a big believer in transit-oriented development. I’m a big believer in folks who say we need more density. I think it’s going to be great for the community.

“Focus is thrilled to begin work on 811 Emerson, and especially proud to return to Evanston after completing several developments in the community including 1717 Ridge and Sherman Plaza,” said Focus CEO Tim Anderson.

“Our experienced construction team is confident this new project will positively impact the neighborhood, energizing this part of downtown and bringing additional business to retailers in alignment with the goals of Evanston city officials in approving this project.” 

Bob Flannery of CA Residential said, “This is our first project in Evanston. We know the community. The stakeholders really care about what happens here. We are glad to contribute to the skyline of Evanston.”