Tonight! City committee will discuss disastrous development
Jan 31, 2018 — Do not be fooled. This proposed development is about taking away from Evanston for private profit, not about giving back! In fact, it will demolish local businesses. And guess who will partly pay for this proposed "luxury" 395 foot hotel and residence? Taxpayers. In a shady move (that has only been covered in a single story, by my count) City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz slipped in the proposal for the 395-foot tall hotel and residential tower in the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue to tonight's agenda, no doubt hoping it would be discussed with little public scrutiny). The Private Developer (Farpoint) is "asking for city assistance in exploring the funding mechanism for the building and also for help in financing a public parking garage as part of the development."
No. No. No. A private developer does not get to decide which businesses stay, how much he gets from the city to fund his private enterprise, and btw, Northlight Theater's proposed residence in an adjoining structure is just the bright shiny object flashing in front of the eyes of the public to make it look like this development is somehow good for everyone.
Don't be fooled. Let the committee members know that this stops here.
I'm copying (below) a very well done letter sent out yesterday by Nina Barrett, owner of Bookends and Beginnings It summarizes the relevant points concerning the proposed tower development.
If you can, please attend the meeting tonight (1/31 at 7pm at the city civic center, Room 2402) or email the committee members and let them know that Evanston residents and friends do not support this development! This would be a disaster for so many local businesses and for the city itself. Please make your voice heard!
From Bookends and Beginnings:
A Plea For Your Help
You may have heard about a plan for a high-rise development on our block of Sherman Ave. The proposal by Farpoint Development calls for a 37-story high-rise containing a "boutique hotel," luxury rental units, and a new home for Northlight Theatre. This would demolish half the city block from the Marshall Fields building to Starbucks, including the old Varsity Theater building, 1712-22 Sherman and the alley in between, also known as "Bookman's Alley." Five thriving independent retail businesses, including Alley Gallery and its local fine art gallery space, The Saw Room, Bookends and Beginnings, Saville Flowers, Coucou & Olive, and Campus Gear, would be destroyed. Furthermore, affordable office spaces would be lost, home to photographers, painters, designers and other artists. Nearly 50 independent businesses in all would be affected, half of which are woman or minority owned. This very special block of Sherman Avenue is at the heart of why folks find Evanston a unique and interesting place to live and visit.
While we would welcome the return of Northlight Theatre to Evanston, we strongly believe that a massive 37-story tower in the middle of one of Evanston's most charming blocks - where retail businesses are actually thriving - is the wrong way to do it.
If you can, please come to the Economic Development Meeting this Wednesday at 7pm in the Civic Center, Room 2402 to voice your concerns.
If you cannot attend, please consider emailing your thoughts to any of the Economic Development Committee Members:
8th Ward Alderman Ann Rainey (email@example.com)
3rd Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4th Ward Alderman Donald Wilson (email@example.com)
2nd Ward Alderman Peter Braithwaite (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5th Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons (email@example.com)
Thank you so much for your time and support,
Owner, Bookends & Beginnings
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