E2, a $148 million apartment development downtown, is expected to open in spring 2015, according to the developer.
The project consists of two towers containing a total of 356 units, and is a project of Fifield Companies and Carroll Properties. The two buildings will be connected by a four-story structure containing three floors of parking and a fourth-floor deck; one tower at 1881 Oak will be 16 stories tall, while a tower at 1890 Maple will be 14 stories.
Crews will officially break ground on Tuesday, and the construction process is expected to take about 18 months, according to Randy Fifield, vice chairman of Fifield Companies.
“We feel really lucky to be able to bring this project to Evanston,” Fifield said.
Developer Bob King of Carroll Properties has owned the sites at 1881 Oak Ave. and 1890 Maple Ave. for several years, and had planned developments approved by the city council. Fifield Companies got involved two years ago, according to Fifield, when King needed to redesign his plans.
She said the company recently completed a similar apartment project in Chicago’s West Loop, and saw downtown Evanston as a good place to go next, given the proximity to retail, restaurants and public transportation.
While the company’s projects typically attract people in the 26-35 age range, Fifield said they hope E2 will also appeal to empty-nesters who want to downsize. All 356 apartment units and 12 townhomes will be leased.
“In the downturn of 2008, people realized they don’t always have to own a home,” she said. “[Renting is] a very efficient way to live.”
Units will range in size from studios to three bedrooms, although the vast majority of apartments will be one-bedrooms. Fifield said the units will have floor-to-ceiling windows, plank floors, wood cabinets, GE appliances, energy-efficient windows and custom window treatments.
The apartment complex will also have a doorman, gym, dog-walking services, game area, basketball court, private-screening room, bike storage, pool, cyber café and parking for rent to residents and the public. Fifield Companies properties also host social events like “Yappy Hours,” where residents can have drinks and bring their dogs, as well as chili cookoffs and wine tastings.
“It’s not an apartment building, it’s a living community,” she said.
The ground floor will have space for retail, and Fifield said the company is looking to fill it with a grocery store and spa or fitness club that’s open to the public. It’s too soon to comment on specific tenants, however, she said.
Fifield plans to start leasing the property about three months before construction is complete, which probably means January 2015, she said. Rents will start at $1,250 and go up to $4,000 month, according to Fifield.