The City of Evanston wants to sell public lakefront property for a fraction of its market value.
The Harley-Clarke Mansion, located at 2603 Sheridan Road, is one of Evanston's most beautiful and storied public properties. Currently home to the Evanston Arts Center and located on 2.5 acres of lakefront property, the Harley-Clarke Mansion is one of our community's greatest assets. If the mansion is sold, the Evanston Arts Center will be forced to relocate.
The City has been offered $1.2 million to sell the property and the buyer has indicated they will turn the mansion into a private boutique hotel complete with a 57 car garage. $1.2 million is less than half of the property's currently assessed market value but the city is still considering the offer.
Negotiations of the sale have occurred mostly behind closed doors. Terms and conditions of the sale have been discussed in closed session meetings. Recordings of those City Council discussions have been destroyed despite a state law which requires their preservation. And while the City claims the sale may return long term tax revenue, no study has been conducted to confirm that assertion. Still, the City is considering the offer.
Tell the City that selling this historic lakefront property is contrary to the interests and values of Evanston.