Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Evans Avenue high-rise on track for summer start

An 11-story apartment building envisioned for the southeast corner of University Boulevard and East Evans Avenue could be under construction as soon as early summer, developers say.

Phil Caplan and partner David Elowe have lined up nearly all the financing they need to get the 213-unit retail-residential mixed-use project ready to break ground.

“It’s taken longer than we wanted,” Caplan says, “but things seem to be on track.”

The building the pair have in mind would include 25,000 square feet of street-level retail businesses, interior parking for about 359 cars, and studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging a little more than 900 square feet. The parking would be divided into two zones with 104 spaces underground for retail customers and about 255 spaces above the businesses on three floors.

“We’ll have some restaurants and if we’re lucky we’ll have an urban grocery,” he says. “We’re in discussions with lots and lots of retail tenants, but nothing to announce. It’s all very preliminary.”

Caplan described the project, whose working name is the Shops and Apartments at Observatory Park, as a “market-rate” apartment project. “It’s not student housing,” he says, noting that the restaurants would be more upscale than fast-food shops.

The project would be constructed on land extending south from Evans Avenue and east from University Boulevard to the alley. The land is presently occupied by the two-story, red-brick Wesley Apartments at 2100 S. University and five single- and multi-family properties immediately south.

“We want to make this a project that is not only economically feasible but beneficial to the neighborhood,” Caplan says.

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