Albion development narrowly approved

This final design for the development was narrowly approved by the city council.

This final design for the development was narrowly approved by the city council.

Mac Stone, News Editor

In a narrow 5-4 vote by City Council, the 15-story Albion development at 1450 Sherman Ave. was approved for construction on Nov. 15, angering those who opposed it.

“The building does not comply with a couple aspects of the zoning ordinance,” 7th Ward Alderwoman Eleanor Revelle said. “This sends a signal to other developers that we [Evanston] are prepared to ignore important parts of our zoning ordinance.”

The main debate surfaces from the building being too large and not providing an appropriate transition from high rise buildings in Evanston’s downtown area to surrounding neighborhoods.

“In my view, the building is too tall and too massive for that particular location,” Revelle said. However, those who oppose the development do admit it could benefit Evanston in some ways. The development will move a large population into Evanston, which could bring a large amount of economic vitality to smaller businesses and restaurants. When finished, the Albion development will add 273 rental apartments and 186 parking spaces to the downtown area. While this does add more opportunity to cultivate various establishments, that number of apartments available for rent could mean that overpopulation in the downtown area.

“I don’t see Evanston as being overcrowded just yet,” Revelle said. “However, there are three proposals circling that have plenty of residential units in them. At some point, I do think there will be too many people for the immediate area.”

Longtime restaurant Tommy Nevin’s has closed and will be torn down, while Prairie Moon will be accommodated into the development.

Even with the controversy surrounding the recently approved Albion development, one thing is for sure, construction will begin in mid-2018.