Editor’s note: This story has updated to add more details from the meeting.

A majority of residents showed support for a new dog park at Grey Park, 1501 Main St., during a Fourth Ward meeting on Tuesday, March 7, which saw a lively discussion around a number of topics.

Fourth Ward Council Member Jonathan Nieuwsma brought forward the doggone idea for initial community input before some 32 people present.

Community members Sandra Shane-DuBow (left) and Cheryl Judice chat after the Fourth Ward meeting on March 7. Credit: Evan Girard

“I love that idea. Walking our dog in Evanston has been a wonderful opportunity to meet so many people,” said Fourth Ward resident Will Reichel, a dog owner and frequent user of the park.

Evanston’s seasonal dog beach has just reopened and the city has Pooch Park, just east of McCormick Boulevard on Oakton Street, but officials have been seeking a location for a second dog park.

Neighbors around Grey Park as well as other community members expressed support for the suggestion. The park, located just east of Ridge Avenue, has nearly 3 acres of space but is somewhat underutilized, Nieuwsma said.

The day after Sixth Ward Council Member Thomas Suffredin’s public message about Northwestern University’s proposed rebuild of Ryan Field, representatives from the university presented the project to the audience and gathered community feedback.

Several attendees raised familiar concerns about the school’s economic study and its contribution to the city. The city is moving ahead on an independent economic impact study as well as a community engagement study for the stadium.

“The larger issue here is a deficit of trust. We want to be community partners,” said Dave Davis, the school’s executive director of neighborhood and community relations.

Other topics discussed during the meeting included:

  • The 1621 Chicago Ave. project, a 15-story apartment building with 140 units. The project is set to go before the Land Use Commission on Wednesday, March 8.
  • The Main Street Construction Project, which has seen delays due to cost and supply chain issues. “I don’t know that we’re going to break ground this year,” said Lara Biggs, the city’s capital planning and engineering bureau chief.
  • Margarita Inn, which is set to go before the Land Use Commission on April 26 after a legal challenge. The city signed a Good Neighbor Agreement with non-profit Connections for the Homeless on Feb. 8. The process to iron out an operating agreement is in motion, Nieuwsma said.

In recent weeks, the city has seen a rise in car burglaries and thefts, in addition to a spike in package thefts, EPD Officer Brian Rust said. Rust, who was filling in for Officer Mike Jones, encouraged residents to exercise caution, particularly during late night hours. 

Community members asked about the Starbucks near ETHS cutting some afternoon weekday hours. “We’re putting a lot of resources into that area during that time frame. It’s a concerted effort, it’s not just the police,” Rust said.

Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...

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  1. As a Fourth ward resident, I attended the meeting featured in this article last evening. Yes, several members expressed skepticism about NU’s economic projections and the troubled relationship with the city. I personally do not recall any public complaints about noise and traffic. Several members expressed support for the project. I was one of them. I wish this article presented a more balanced representation of the discussion.