Council Committee Considers Tower Tonight

Tonight, Wed., May 7, at 6:30 pm, the Planning & Development Committee of the City Council will consider the proposed Fountain Square skyscraper "Tower" project (708 Church St.). The multi-use building, downscaled to 38 floors from the 49 stories originally requested, is the only item on the agenda.

Technically, what the Committee is considering is the recommendation of the Plan Commission (by 4-3 vote) to rezone the property to D3 (from the lower-height D2) and the approval of a "planned development" on the site.

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DIY Democracy in Evanston: Should We Abolish the City Manager Position?

The impending void in the City Manager position created by the tendered resignation of Julia Carroll comes at a time when one of the 2 Assistant City Manager positions is vacant, the Director of Community Development position is about to be vacant, the City is looking for both a Finance Director and a Revenue Director, one of the zoning staff has resigned, the top in-house city attorney has left, and longtime City Clerk Mary Morris has resigned. Meanwhile, the next consolidated primary election is Feb.

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Next Theatre Production a War Zone Masterpiece

If, like me, you support the arts in theory but in reality don't get out and take in as much culture as you'd like (perhaps because you spend too many evenings at the Civic Center), then you owe it to yourself to take a night off sometime in the next 2 weeks and experience Next Theatre's blockbuster production, 9 Parts of Desire, currently playing at the Museum of Contemporary Art (thru 5/18).

Foodstuffs Sidewalk Cafe and Other Recent SPAARC Actions Affecting Our Neighborhood

The Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee (SPAARC, but which is listed on the City's web page for committees and boards as the Site Plan and Appearance Review Board - SPAARB?) on April 23 considered the following projects in our neighborhood:

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Staff Recommends $2M Subsidy, 38-Story Tower

Outgoing Assistant City Manager Judith Aiello and Assistant Director for Community Development Dennis Marino, in a 2-page memo dated April 25, 2008, recommend approval of $2 million in subsidy, from Tax Increment Financing ("TIF") funds from the downtown TIF district, to be given to the Focus Development (Klutznick-Anderson) team for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the Hahn Building as part of the proposal for redevelopment of the 708 Church Street site. The developers had sought $3 million but the consultants and staff conclude that the valuation of the Hahn Building is too high.

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