City Council has given Chicago Avenue Partners, the company that would like to purchase and develop 1714-20 Chicago Ave. – the Library parking lot – another six months to come up with an acceptable proposal for a building there. The proposed purchase price is $4 million. This is the second extension of time the developer has received from the Council; this one comes with a refundable $50,000 “security deposit” to help ensure the work will proceed in a timely fashion.
The first extension expired on Dec. 10, just two days before the Plan Commission was scheduled to discuss the latest proposal on Dec. 12.
The proposal envisioned an 11-story office building with 286 parking spaces, but the most recent iteration showed a 13-story building with 112 parking spaces. Since the building would take over a surface parking lot, the developer was to add 75 public parking spaces, but the new proposal shows only 21. This new proposal also asked the City sell a portion of the north-south alley between Church and Clark streets.
Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, opposed the six-month extension, saying, “This shows they can’t build the building they said they could.”
Alderman Judy Fiske, in whose First Ward the project lies, said, “The 500 workers [in the new office building] will support the downtown economy. We ought to give them the benefit of going to the Plan commission.”
During citizen comment, Jack Weiss of Design Evanston and Kim Stanton, incoming president of the Woman’s Club of Evanston, asked aldermen not to approve the extension.
Information about the Plan Commission’s analysis and decision on the Chicago Avenue Partners’ latest proposal will be posted at evanstonroundtable.com.