New hotel, apartment complex plan to open next year


Source: Justin Dickinson

Hyatt Hotel has plans to open an extended-stay hotel at 1515 Chicago Ave., shown in this rendering. The hotel, along with a planned apartment building, expects to add to the Evanston community and economy.

Tori Latham, Assistant City Editor

A new extended-stay hotel and apartment complex are planning to open in Evanston, said Mark Muenzer, the city’s director of community development.

A Hyatt House hotel will open at 1515 Chicago Ave. and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016, said Justin Dickinson, associate director at Janko Group, the investment firm working with the developers on the project.

“Evanston is a great place to develop because of its proximity to the third largest city in the country,” Dickinson said. “We’ve noticed a lack in this specific product and it’s a nice area to develop an extended-stay property.”

Dickinson said developers are trying to work in a collaborative manner with the community, while also staying true to the direction Hyatt House wants.

“We can’t completely deviate from the brand, but we are creating something new and original,” he said. “We’re hoping that people will use and enjoy it, possibly even as a space for meetings. We’re really trying to revitalize that area of Chicago Avenue.”

In an attempt to bring more residents to the Central Street area, Real Capital Solutions and McHugh Construction have plans to build a 47-unit apartment complex that will open late summer 2016 at 1620 Central St., said John Myefski, the architect for the building.

The market-rate housing is aimed to attract all types of people while still offering them more luxurious amenities, including the use of environmentally friendly materials, Myefski said.

“It’s really spectacular from a green perspective,” Myefski said. “There are going to be a lot of green benefits and it will serve as a public gift to the community.”

The building will be designed to be transit-oriented, Myefski said, as it is adjacent to the CTA station on Central Street.

“We want to provide a solution that promotes public transportation and the use of bikes,” he said. “We want that option to be available to the public and we want to show people that they do not just need to rely on vehicles.”

Like Dickinson, Myefski said developers have been trying to work with the city, gathering input through community meetings.

“We’ve had 22 meetings thus far with the neighbors,” he said. “We want to make the vast majority of them happy and we’re striving to make this one of the best projects in Evanston.”

Both developments will bring in money for the city’s economy. Dickinson said the hotel will contribute to an increase in the city’s tax base and allow for more people to stay in and explore Evanston. Muenzer said the apartment complex will generate property tax revenue, which will also spin off into sales tax by adding customers who will support the neighboring businesses.

“The people who move in there will then patronize the restaurants and shops that surround the property,” Muenzer said. “We are trying to work in a responsible manner to increase the pedestrian experience on Central Street while still being respectful of existing neighborhoods.”

While the public has voiced some concerns about the projects, both Dickinson and Myefski said they were excited to be building into Evanston.

“It’s a tough place to develop, but we’re happy to be where we are,” Dickinson said.

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