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July 23, 2019

7/10/2019 8:13:00 PM
Davis Street Project Plans Under Review
By Matt Simonette

Chicago-based developers Davis Street Development Company 2015 and Vermilion Development are proposing a 19-story mixed-use development at 601-611 Davis St. and 1604-1610 Chicago Ave., according to City records. The University Building, a vacant lot and a Chase Bank drive-through facility are currently at the site.

This proposal takes the place of a proposed 33-story building rejected in early 2018. Had it been approved, that would have been Evanston’s tallest building; the Planning and Development Committee had concerns about the building’s height and density, however.

The new development would be a Class A office tower.

“Class A office space in the City of Evanston remains scarce, especially contiguous space of over 10,000 square feet,” says the April 19 proposal. “A new, Class A office tower would create options for office tenants that either want to remain in Evanston or relocate to Evanston within a state-of-the-art office building.” Additionally, the complex would “seamlessly integrate into the surrounding context of downtown Evanston,” the developers say.

The site as it stands is zoned D2 and D3. The developers will require approval of a special use for a planned development and substitution of a special use for the reconfigured Chase ATM drive-thru and driveway. The developer would seek allowances for its proposed FAR (floor-area ratio, the ratio of floor space to the size of the lot), the number of parking spaces and setbacks.

Project officials say that the University Building would be preserved, and that the new building would offer 4,510 square feet of retail space. It would also offer 192,570 square feet of commercial office space.

The project would feature about .16 parking spaces per 1,000 gross square feet – that is, about 40 in all. The complex is classified as a Transit Oriented Development since it is within walking distance of both the Metra and CTA stations downtown. It would also have about 150 bike stalls. Developers expect a number of workers at the building who drive would also make use of City of Evanston parking facilities.

Developers also note that they would update the mechanicals in the University Building as well as add elevator service to its second floor. They expect that the complex would have at minimum a Silver LEED certification and would improve the nearby cityscape, which is largely flat and undeveloped.

“The [project] is an infill development that will generate new property and sales taxes for the community while contributing significant public benefits, including the preservation of an Evanston landmark,” said the proposal. “The [project] will strengthen the Evanston economy and tax base and create jobs.”

  The plan is currently with City Staff for review. The proposal can be read at

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