One of our regular readers and contributors asked what's up with the condos at McDaniel & Central. I assumed she meant the project just a little south of that intersection, so I decided to check it out next time I biked by. I had met the developer and architect of McDaniel Place, a 6-condo structure on the site of an old 3-flat farmhouse across from Ackerman Park, at a SPAARC meeting, and they seemed like nice folks.
The project consists of 4 2BR units on the lower floors, with 2 larger 3BR units on the 4th floor. These last units also have penthouse upper bedrooms, so really it's a 5-story development, tho that fact doesn't leap out from the materials. Five stories was allowed as of right under the old R5 zoning district in which this was sited.
The project has a nice website although the bouncy page transitions are a little distracting. The rendering, a stately building in Colonial style, is very handsome despite overstating how much green space will really be facing McDaniel. The proposal sailed through the City with little question, requiring no variances at the time. The project broke ground on a warm day this winter; no extensive foundation work was needed since it calls for ground-level, drive-in parking from the alley, and apparently no basement.
As barbrak noted, there doesn't seem to be a lot going on lately. The ground floor concrete blocks (it will have block-and-brick construction on the bottom floor) have been up for quite a while, mostly, tho still not complete. Skids of brick have been delivered. There is some framing going on of some windows. The perimeter fences appear to be a little wobbly. Yet I could see today signs of work since yesterday, albeit slow.
There was some concern at SPAARC about the lights on balconies. There is a growing problem with unnecessary lighting in Evanston and I'm sure some of the folks nearby don't really need glare from coach lights illuminating their yards at night. One hopes that before installation some sensible, shielded fixtures will be chosen.
I called Mr. Pontarelli last week to see what was going on but never heard back. Without other info, I would assume that weather, labor material supplies, or just normal juggling of jobs are responsible for the recent seeming slowdown. I did note there are a lot of new "Call Julie" flags and spray markings everywhere on the parkway next to the site, and it's possible there were more utilities underground than anticipated, and work had to halt while cables lines were ID'd. Anyone with info, let us know, I'd be happy to update.
[Update: click here for status as of Sept. 2009]