Database installation: Data Directory problem


I'm having trouble getting past the data directory requirement in step 3 of the install process. I keep getting the "Your directory .../.../... does not exist." message.

I'm trying to serve it locally, working with apache on macOS Mojave. I've been able to install Wordpress so I assume it's not an issue with the database.

I want to install Elgg in /users⁩/user-name/sites/elgg. To address the 'outside root' requirements I've put the data directory at /users⁩/user-name/elgg-data.

'Elgg-data' permissions are set to 750.

I've checked the php.ini file for the open_basedir issue, which I located using phpinfo();. This is all that it says there, which I assume means that this isn't what is causing the problem?:

; open_basedir, if set, limits all file operations to the defined directory
; and below.  This directive makes most sense if used in a per-directory
; or per-virtualhost web server configuration file.
; Note: disables the realpath cache
;open_basedir =

These seem to be all of the steps that are covered in the trouble shooting guide and previous topic posts but I'm still getting the "does not exist" message.

There must be something that I've missed or misinterpreted?