Aldermen gave the green light last week to a new affordable housing development on Evanston’s west side, according to a recent Chicago Tribune article by Jonathan Bullington.
The proposed development, named Emerson Square, will include about 70 mixed-income rental apartments on a former industrial site bordered by Foster Street, the alley east of Dewey Avenue, Emerson Street, Gilbert Park and Jackson Avenue, Bullington reported.
Aldermen OK’d the development’s first phase, comprised of 32 rental units, a public park, and various infrastructure improvements. Construction could begin as early as June 2012, according to developer Brinshore Development, cited by Bullington.
The project idea, which stemmed from the West Evanston Master Plan, began progressing after the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 gave Evanston about $18 million to revive “two areas on the south and west sides hit hard by foreclosures.” Emerson Square will cost roughly $13 million, officials said, and will be funded “through a combination of NSP2 funds, state housing funds, low-income housing tax credits, private financing, affordable housing funds, and money from the city’s tax increment financing district,” Bullington reported.
Some locals have been critical of the development, preferring projects that create jobs rather than housing.
Bullington quoted resident Bennett Johnson saying, “We may be moving too quickly on authorizing the Emerson Square project without making sure that it doesn’t do two things: gentrify the area and not leave the maximum amount of wealth in the community by contracts and jobs.”