Office project from R2, T2 nixed in Evanston

The firms had plans for an 11-story building on city-owned parking lot, but community opposition scuttled deal

Chicago /
Mar.March 21, 2019 12:00 PM

Matt Garrison of R2 Companies and a rendering of 1714-1720 Chicago Avenue

A plan by R2 Companies and T2 Investments to build an 11-story office complex in downtown Evanston was nixed following community opposition.

Chicago-based R2 and Wheaton-based T2 agreed to buy the property at 1714-1720 Chicago Avenue for $4 million in October 2017, but the sale was contingent on the project’s approval.

A required zoning change for the 130,000-square-foot building failed to win enough votes from the Evanston City Council on Wednesday night, killing the project, according to the Evanston Review.

The building designed by Paul Janicki Architects faced opposition from some community residents and aldermen who felt it was too big and didn’t fit in to the character of the surrounding area. Supporters said it would bring office tenants who would be an economic boost to the downtown.

R2 Managing Principal Matt Garrison said in a statement that opponents were trying to put design and use restrictions on the building that would make the project “infeasible.”

While his firm is abandoning the plans, he predicted another developer could be successful at the site.

“Sometimes it’s better to be the second or third group in,” Garrison said.

The developers reduced the height of the proposed building to 11 stories last month after an Evanston planning body voted against a 13-story version.

R2 has a number of other projects in the Chicago area, particularly in the area around its headquarters on Goose Island. [Evanston Review] — John O’Brien

 

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