City Council members at their Sept. 27 meeting gave developers of a mixed-use development, a residential project and an office building an additional 18 months to obtain building permits.
Several factors delayed construction on the planned developments at 1012 Chicago Ave., 1900 Sherman Ave. and 605 Davis St., according to a memo from Meagan Jones, neighborhood and land use planner for the city: the COVID pandemic, its lingering effects on construction costs, supply-chain issues and ownership changes.
After suspending the rules so the three ordinances – 96-O-22, 97-O-22, and 98-O-22 – could be introduced and considered the same evening, council members voted unanimously to extend each project 18 months.
1012 Chicago Ave.
Ordinance 88-O-21 approved a special use for a planned development in the C1a commercial mixed-use district in order to construct a five-story, mixed-use building with approximately 5,822 square feet of ground floor retail space, 116 dwelling units and 58 parking spaces, Jones wrote in a memo.
The developer, DAC Development, must still abide by the conditions of the original ordinance granting the planned development. Among these are:
- Providing 10 on-site affordable dwelling units in compliance with the city’s 2020 Inclusionary Housing Ordinance;
- Obtaining LEED Silver Certification or an acceptable rating deemed equivalent;
- Providing a waste management plan to include recycling and composting;
- Continuing to work with Bird Friendly Evanston to incorporate bird friendly measures; and
- Making contributions of $20,000 to the Chicago Avenue Streetscape Improvement Program, $20,000 for the maintenance and planting of street trees and $10,000 to Evanston public parks.
The new deadline to obtain a building permit on the property is April 11, 2024.
1900 Sherman Ave.
“Ordinance 109-O-20 approved a map amendment to rezone this property from R6 General Residential to C1a Commercial Mixed-Use District in addition to approving a special use for a planned development to construct a 16-story age-restricted multi-family residential building with 168 dwelling units, with 37 on-site subterranean parking spaces, retaining the existing 100-unit building on-site,” according to Jones’ memo.
The developer, the Housing Authority of Cook County,, received a time extension by ordinance 111-O-21 after it discovered a structural issue it had to address.
A major adjustment to the development was approved by ordinance 123-O-21, which reduced the number of units in the new building to 152, decreased the number of below grade parking spaces to 25 and cut the zoning height to 168 feet 4 inches, according to Jones’ memo.
With the 18-month extension, the applicant has until May 23, 2024 to obtain a building permit.
605 Davis St.
On this building, Jones’ memo explained, “Ordinance 49-O-20 approved a special use for a planned development in the D3, Downtown Core Development District.
“The developer, Vermillion Enterprises, received approval for an 18-story, 220-foot tall Class A office building with a floor area ratio of 13.02, approximately 4,500 square feet of ground floor retail space including a drive through for a financial institution and thirty-nine (39) parking spaces.”
Last year, the memo said, “the applicant requested an initial extension due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent pause in office-leasing activity throughout Evanston at that time and the need for prospective tenants to examine the post-pandemic global and local macroeconomic outlook as well as staffing and space needs.”
That extension was to expire this Oct. 27. In a letter to city Planning Manager Liz Williams and interim Community Development Director Sarah Flax, David Cocagne, president and chief executive officer of Vermilion Development, gave an update on the project along with a request for an extension of time.
The letter said in part, “We have furthered the project’s design and marketing collateral, selected a well-regarded general contractor (Walsh Construction), and secured an institutional investor to provide the equity needed to construct the Planned Development.
“Additionally, we have hired a very capable leasing team (led by Bill Rolander, Vice Chairman of Newmark) and furthered discussions with an extensive list of prospective anchor tenants for the office building, many of which prospective tenants currently reside outside of downtown Evanston.”
The letter noted that office leasing has slowed because of the pandemic, and “as a result, tenants have taken a long time deciding to commit to large blocks of office space. On a positive note, what leasing has transpired has been concentrated largely in modern, tech-forward, and sustainable assets – which is precisely what 605 Davis is designed to be. … We look forward to bringing new high-quality tenants and over 1,000 new office workers to Evanston’s vibrant downtown scene.”
The new deadline to obtain a building permit is April 27, 2024.