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The City’s Economic Development Division reported that 72 businesses opened in Evanston in 2013, adding a total of 210 full-time jobs and 246 part-time jobs. The new businesses included 22 retail businesses, 13 restaurants and seven fitness centers. Other businesses included a gas station, a brewery, grocery and food stores, a salon, a photography studio and offices.
The City logged approximately $30 million in commercial building in 2013, according to the report. The top five building permits were issued to Walgreens ($6.3 million), Trader Joe’s ($2.3 million), Erie Family Health Center ($2.4 million), Evanston Hospital ($1.4 million) and Davita Dialysis ($1.1 million).
Northwestern University began construction of the Bienen School of Music and continued work on the Visitor’s Center and Sailing Center, with a construction value of over $188 million.
At year end, vacancy rates were 4.9 percent for offices, 11.8 percent for retail, and 4.3 percent for industrial space.
The City’s unemployment rate dropped more than a full percentage point over the year, from 7.4 percent in January to 6.3 percent in December.