Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Potential Neighbors Discuss Proposal For Maple Avenue Project

By Megan CrepeauThe Daily Northwestern

Ald. Lionel Jean-Baptiste (2nd) held a meeting Thursday night to familiarize Second Ward residents with a proposed development at 1890 Maple Ave.

The meeting was a response to citizen complaints that a prior meeting concerning this development was poorly publicized.

The first meeting, held Jan. 4, angered some residents because the address of the proposed building was not printed on the flyers publicizing the meeting. Jean-Baptiste scheduled the second meeting because of complaints that the first meeting’s turnout would have been higher if the address had been included.

Jean-Baptiste said the city put extra effort into publicity for this meeting, distributing flyers by mail and by hand to all residents within 1,000 feet of 1890 Maple Ave.

“This time around we tried to do a little better,” he said.

About 30 citizens attended the meeting to voice concerns on issues such as parking, flooding and housing costs.

The proposed structure would replace the vacant offices occupying the lot with a 184,000-square-foot, 14-story building incorporating both retail and residential space. The building would house 152 residential units and 40,000 square feet of commercial space.

Developer Carroll Properties hopes to fill the commercial space with one major retailer to increase foot traffic on Maple Avenue and Emerson Street. They estimate that the units would cost $1.80 per square foot per month, meaning a 560-square-foot studio would go for about $1,000 a month. All residential units would begin as rented apartments, including the five proposed townhouses.

Traffic was the primary concern at the meeting. The project would be down the street from a proposed site for a high-rise building at 1881 Oak St. that the city already approved

Traffic consultant Eric Russell presented the city’s plan to alleviate rush hour congestion on Emerson Street: Eliminate parking on the south side of the street west of Maple Avenue. That would then create the space needed to give Emerson two traffic lanes in each direction.

The city also presented a plan to modernize Evanston’s stoplights at the cost of $1.5 million to $1.6 million. The city is trying to get a grant to pay for most of the stoplight synchronization, but if that does not come through, Evanston residents probably will have to pay for the project, officials said.

Questions about flooding also were addressed. The city has spent $2 million to ensure that rainwater will be safely redirected to minimize flooding.

“This is just the beginning for this project, and I can assure you that all these types of safety issues will be discussed,” said James Wolinski, Evanston’s director of community development.

No official action has been taken yet concerning the development. The Thursday meeting was intended to allow area residents to ask questions and comment on the proposal.

“I like to hold some informal meetings before the beginning of the process,” Jean-Baptiste said.

On Feb. 21 the proposal will go before Evanston’s Planning Commission, which aims to reach a decision in March. Its recommendation on whether to approve the project will go before the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee – which consists of all nine aldermen – and then the City Council itself.

Reach Megan Crepeau at [email protected].

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Potential Neighbors Discuss Proposal For Maple Avenue Project