Bahai News - Construction Set to Begin on 28-Story Condominium Tower in Evanston, Ill.
November 04, 2001 13:24
Construction Set to Begin on 28-Story Condominium Tower in
By John Handley, Chicago Tribune
Nov. 4--CHICAGO--Evanstonians are about to reach new heights.
Construction is scheduled to begin soon on a 28-story condominium
tower that will be the highest residential building in Evanston.
Called Optima Views, it will be built on land that is now a parking
lot on the west side of Maple Street just north of Church Street in the
The 205 units are base-priced from $172,750 to a penthouse at $1.4
million and range from 687 to 3,711 square feet with one to three
Construction of the project by Optima Inc. is scheduled to begin in
December with first occupancies in a year and completion by December
2003, according to Optima President David Hovey. Designed by Hovey and
Tod Demarais, the concrete and glass building will be in a contemporary
style that contrasts with much of the north suburb's traditional look.
"We're trying to take a step into the future, rather than recreate
something from the past," Hovey said.
The 265-foot structure will be 28 feet higher than the next tallest
residential tower in town, but 12 feet shorter than the Bank One
From the sixth floor and higher, residents will be able to see Lake
Michigan and the downtown Chicago skyline to the south and the
Northwestern University campus, the Temple and the lake to
the north, Hovey added.
For example, a two-bedroom unit on the seventh floor with northeast
and northwest views is priced at $298,204, while a three-bedroom plan
on the same floor with views east, southeast and northeast is $463,569.
"Some owners of large, gracious single-family homes have expressed
mixed feelings [about the modern high-rise]," said Carolyn Smith,
assistant director of the Evanston planning department's building
division. "They don't want change. But others are excited by the
livelier, more sophisticated downtown Evanston that is developing." She
added that there is space for more residential projects in or on the
edges of downtown.
The entrance to Optima Views on Maple will be decorated with a
reflecting pool and fountain. Over the 230-car garage, on the fourth
level, will be a landscaped courtyard with a glass-enclosed swimming
pool, sun deck, party room and fitness center.
Indoor parking is included in the price of units. Monthly assessments
will range from $107 to $1,384.
Condominiums will have open floor plans, floor-to-ceiling windows,
terraces and master bedrooms with walk-in closets and private baths.
Originally zoned for 262 apartments, the site was better suited for
only 205 units because of the shape of the building, Hovey said.
Thirty percent of the units already have been sold. "About half of
the buyers work in downtown Chicago," said Hovey. The building will be
a half-block from the Metra commuter station. A short walk to the
southeast is the Davis Street station on the CTA's elevated Purple
"When the new condo is built, it will bring more life to the area,"
said Ronald Kysiak, executive director of Evanston Inventure, a private
economic development firm. Optima Views is located in the 22-acre,
triangular-shaped Northwestern University/Evanston Research Park.
Kysiak, who also is CEO of the research park, said that since it
opened in 1989 it has attracted more than $200 million in development.
Two acres remain for development by the university.
Directly across the street to the east is the new Century Theater and
a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. The Metra tracks and a Helmut Jahn-designed
office building are to the west.
North of the future condo is a new 1,260-car parking garage and a new
180-room Hilton Garden hotel.
The sales center for Optima Views is at 1741 Maple St., across the
street from the future condo.
©Copyright 2001, Chicago Tribune
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