Aldermen to discuss planned development, new restaurants at City Council


Katie Pach/Daily Senior Staffer

Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) speaks at a meeting.

Ryan Wangman, City Editor

The next chapter in Evanston’s planned development saga will play out at Monday’s City Council meeting as aldermen are set to debate a proposed 33-story residential building on Davis Avenue.

The Plan Commission and city staff recommended Council deny the 318-unit proposal, which will be introduced before the Planning and Development committee on Monday. The building, located at 601 Davis, would include 7,481 square feet of ground floor commercial space and 176 on-site parking spaces, according to city documents.

Vermilion Development, the real estate company that proposed the Davis tower, is requesting eight site development allowances. That exceeds the maximum site development allowances for building height and floor area ratio, which means a super-majority of two-thirds of Council members is needed for the building’s approval.

“It is troubling that we set numbers and we’re still getting requests for variations to those amounts,” Plan Commission member Peter Isaac said at a meeting in November.

At the Jan. 8 City Council meeting, the proposal was delayed until Jan. 22 for introduction after the developer asked for more time on the project. Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) told The Daily then that developers occasionally decide they want to make changes to their applications because of feedback they have received from community members or City Council, though she did not know the reason for this delay.

The proposed development comes after Albion Residential’s 15-story Sherman Avenue apartment tower was approved in November amid some residents’ concerns that the project did not meet affordable housing needs and could potentially increase gentrification.

Also at Monday’s City Council meeting, aldermen will discuss the approval of a pair of potential restaurants — Rubies and Colectivo Coffee — in the city.

Robert Crayton, the applicant on behalf of Rubies, is seeking approval for a takeout restaurant located at 1723 Simpson St., and received the recommendations of both the Zoning Board of Appeals and city staff for the proposal. The restaurant would feature breakfast and lunch items including eggs, deli sandwiches and tacos, according to city documents.

The building at 1723 Simpson has a troubled history, as the building’s former owner was arrested in 2011 on allegations that he had been selling crack cocaine within the store and conducting fraudulent transactions using Illinois Link cards. The commercial space is currently vacant.

Colectivo will look to replace the RadioShack formerly located at the corner of Church Street and Sherman Avenue. The applicant currently owns and operates 16 similar Colectivo locations in Wisconsin and two in Chicago.

If approved, the coffee shop would join a crowded market that includes Kafein, Unicorn Cafe and Patisserie Coralie.

“Colectivo promises to make a bright open space, reopen the windows and bring a really good brand to that corner,” Paul Zalmezak, Evanston’s economic development manager told The Daily in December. “It’s going to be a community gathering spot. It’s exciting.”

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