City surface parking lot east of the Main Library (behind Woman's Club of Evanston).                                                     RoundTable photo

At the Aug. 17 meeting of the City’s Economic Development Committee, committee members accepted the recommendation of Assistant City Manager Martin Lyons and Senior Economic Development Coordinator Paul Zalmezak to “direct the City Manager to solicit bids for the City-owned property at 1714-20 Chicago Ave.”

The committee’s recommendation is subject to the approval of City Council.

The 74-space surface parking lot is used by member of the Woman’s Club of Evanston and patrons of the Library and of many downtown businesses.

A memo to the Economic Development Committee from Mr. Lyons and Mr. Zalmezak said “multiple parties” have considered the 30,000-square-foot lot as a potential site for mixed use, office/residential, performing arts, housing, and hotels. The City’s preferred use of the site is for a new office building.

A successful bid for the property would be for office development by a for-profit entity, would replace the 74 public parking spaces, have “contextual and high-quality design” and would be at or near the City’s asking price of $5 million.

The parking lot lies between two historic buildings, the Frances Willard Home, 1730 Chicago Ave., and the Woman’s Club of Evanston, 1702 Chicago Ave., both of which are on the National Register of Historic Place. 

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...