Evergreen Real Estate Group, along with Council for Jewish Elderly (doing business as CJE SeniorLife), announced the start of construction on Evanston Senior Housing, a 60-unit affordable rental community at 1011 Howard Street in Evanston, Illinois.
Evergreen and CJE SeniorLife representatives joined U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Evanston Mayor Stephen H. Hagerty, 8th Ward Ald. Ann Rainey and officials from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), IFF, U.S. Bank, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation and other partners at a socially distanced groundbreaking ceremony on November 5.
Located on Howard Street just west of Ridge Boulevard, the $25 million project will be a four-story, 73,017-square-foot residential building next to the existing CJE SeniorLife Adult Day Services center, which provides programming and socialization opportunities for seniors who require supervision during the day. Evanston Senior Housing is owned by 1015 Howard LP, a partnership that includes CJE SeniorLife, Evergreen and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the community development and tax credit subsidiary of U.S. Bank.
“Evanston Senior Housing is an innovative development that creates much-needed affordable senior housing while improving the existing ADS center that has enriched the lives of countless Evanston seniors over the years,” said David Block, director of development for Evergreen Real Estate Group. “It is unusual to have affordable senior housing and support services paired together in the same location—a model that we feel can be replicated elsewhere in the Chicago area and across the country.”
Professionally operated by Evergreen’s in-house management team, many of whom have previously worked in social services and the nonprofit sector, Evanston Senior Housing will offer 54 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom independent living apartments for seniors age 62 or older, with incomes at or below 60 percnet of the Area Median Income. Evergreen will begin accepting applications for the apartments next spring.
“CJE SeniorLife is so happy to be part of this exciting project to bring additional affordable housing for older adults to the Evanston and North Chicago communities,” said Dan Fagin, president and CEO of CJE SeniorLife. “As an agency focused on meeting the needs of seniors and their families, this initiative is perfectly aligned with our mission. The fact that the new building will share a campus with our highly regarded Adult Day Services program is the proverbial icing on the cake.”
The new structure will complement the existing building while showcasing a modern, contemporary feel. Its exterior will feature white concrete with tan accents, the building’s open lobby will feature floor-to-ceiling windows along Howard Street, while the entrance and an adjacent courtyard will showcase a mural by a local Evanston artist to be selected through a community process.
The apartments will be located on floors two through four. Common areas will include a community room, fitness room, laundry room, outdoor terrace and lounge areas on each floor.
“During the design process, we drew inspiration from the public art installation on the exterior of the existing ADS building—a mosaic tree mural created by the center’s staff, clients and volunteers known as ‘Together We Grow,’” Block said. “The new independent living community incorporates some of the same earth tones and includes its own green wall along the south facade of the building.”
Evanston Senior Housing is designed for LEED Silver certification, according to Andre Pintauro, president of Evergreen Construction Company, a division of Evergreen Real Estate Group that is serving as general contractor. The building features a precast concrete frame and two levels of parking, with improvements complementing the enhanced streetscape coming to Howard Street in 2021 through a joint project between the cities of Evanston and Chicago. The Evergreen Construction Company team also is making renovations to the existing ADS building at 1015 Howard Street
“The improvements, which include a lobby reconfiguration to enhance security and overall functionality, HVAC upgrades and roof and masonry work, will allow CJE SeniorLife to continue using the space for many years to come,” said Pintauro.
While the two structures will have separate entrances, ADS staff and clients will have access to Evanston Senior Housing’s second-floor outdoor terrace. However, ADS clients cannot enter the residential building and residents of Evanston Senior Housing cannot enter the ADS building without passing through each building’s secured front entrance.
Financial partners include IFF, provider of the pre-development loan; U.S. Bank, provider of the construction loan and mortgage loan; U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the tax credit investor; the city of Evanston, which provided HOME and local Affordable Housing Funds; IHDA, which awarded the Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits (IAHTC); the Housing Authority of Cook County, which provided project-based vouchers for 30 units; and the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
Evanston Senior Housing is located close to shops and restaurants along Howard Street, as well as several bus routes, including those that connect to the CTA’s Howard L station.
The Evanston Senior Housing project is the fourth affordable senior housing community that Evergreen has developed in the Chicago area over the past two years. In January 2020, Evergreen broke ground on Ravenswood Senior Living, a new community offering independent and supportive living for low-income seniors at 4515 N. Winchester Avenue on Chicago’s North Side. In 2019, the firm partnered with the Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Library and Chicago’s Department of Housing on a pair of co-located developments—Independence Apartments and Library at 4022 N. Elston Avenue and Northtown Apartments and Library at 6800 N. Western Avenue—that co-locate low-income senior housing with new public library branches.