Within the next couple of weeks, Evanstonians can anticipate demolitions for two different long-term projects: the new Northlight Theatre and the apartment building going up in place of the former Vogue Fabrics store.
Fourth Ward Council member Jonathan Nieuwsma shared these updates with the community at a Tuesday, June 7, ward meeting, along with the representatives from each project who were there to answer the community’s questions.
Constructing the Northlight Theatre complex at 1012-1016 Church St. would mean two buildings need to be demolished, said Janet Mullet, Managing Director at Northlight.
The Barn, at 1016 Church St., will remain, as will the nearby parking lots.
“Once we do start demolition, we’re expecting it to take about two weeks to take all of the walls down,” said Mullet. “At this point, we’re hoping to keep that work contained to Monday through Friday.”
The contractors are still working on their demolition plan, which will need city approval before it can begin, Mullet said. But because the submission and approval process isn’t done, she said, Northlight doesn’t have an exact start date yet.
Responding to a question, Mullet said the building will likely not be LEED Silver Certified, but it will meet LEED Silver standards. “There’s an enormous amount of money and time in the actual certification, but if we meet the standards, we feel pretty good about that,” she said.
Plan for apartment building
Charles Davidson of Catapult Real Estate Solutions gave a brief presentation on the 120-unit apartment building that will replace the former Vogue Fabrics store, 718 Main St. The building will include a rooftop deck, a central lobby, a courtyard in the back, retail space on the bottom floor and 47 parking spaces.
“We’re really excited about being here and doing this project,” Davidson said to the small crowd. He showed a construction timeline, which sets the demolition in June. Workers will excavate the site and lay the foundation between July and September.
Nieuwsma warned his constituents that construction is often noisiest at the beginning of a project. Davidson also pulled up a slide showing the construction work hours, which are between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
“How do you guys plan to be good neighbors during the construction,” a community member asked Davidson. In the past, the speaker said, construction projects on Main Street have started well before 7 a.m, workers have left her street trashed and construction vehicles have taken up neighborhood’s parking.
The site won’t open until 7 a.m. and a project superintendent will oversee the project, Davidson responded. Several parking spots are designated for the contractors, he added.
Other community members reiterated the speaker’s parking concerns, during the construction process and after its completion, because the 120-unit apartment only provides 47 parking spaces.
Several of the meeting’s attendees also wanted to know how the representatives from the two projects feel about coming downtown, given the crime and safety concerns. Neither representative expressed much concern about crime.
Nieuwsma said that the projects should draw more people downtown and help make Evanston a safer place to live. “We’re doing the best we can with the resources we have available to make Evanston a nicer place to live,” said Nieuwsma.