Jane Perlman is getting a sister. The nine-story, 100-unit building at 1900 Sherman Ave. operated by the Housing Authority of Cook County that provides housing for senior citizens and vulnerable residents of Cook County, may soon have an 11-story companion built on the parking lot and vacant space on the south edge of the property, along Emerson Street.

At the July 30 City Council meeting, HACC Executive Director Richard Monocchio described plans for the new building that will serve residents of varying incomes who are 55 years of age or older. These residents will not be “very low-income,” which is the typical resident served by HACC, Mr. Monocchio said. “There are different meanings of ‘affordable,’” he said, adding that the new building would be affordable to people who feel they are being “priced out” of Evanston but want to stay here.

“We are trying to build a building that meets the needs of the town and would be a community asset,” Mr. Monocchio said. The rental prices are yet to be determined, he said but added a number of the 84 units “could be considered affordable to the average person.”

Even though the plans are still fluid, Mr. Monocchio said, he and the design team wished to bring the concept to City Council to see whether aldermen would feel comfortable with the concept and the direction of the project, so the project could move forward.

Bill James of the consulting firm Camiros and Juan Moreno of JGMA architects described the project so far: 10 residential units on each of the top eight stories, two stories of parking and an “accessory use” – perhaps commercial – in addition to elevators and escalators on the ground floor.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, said, “Rich and his team have just been wonderful to work with and respectful of the fact that this is a transitional area toward downtown. I’m excited about the project.”

Mayor Stephen Hagerty said “This is a super exciting project.” Asked about financing for the project, Mr. Monocchio said several ideas are being considered. “It’s possible we could apply to get tax credits from the State. There could be private financing, but I’m hoping it to be market-driven.”

Mr. Monocchio did not indicate when the team would provide updates to the Council.

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...