The agenda for the Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee ("SPAARC") for 2:30 pm, Wednesday, August 1, 2012 includes a submittal by Bridget O’Keefe for a special use for a McDonalds (NYSE:MCD) Type II Restaurant and a special use for a drive-thru at 2500 Gross Point Road.
Appearance before SPAARC, which consists mainly of City staff, is one of the first public steps in a proposal for new construction or a change requiring approval of the zoning authorities and/or the City Council. The Committee reviews preliminary designs or proposals to decide whether they generally fit in; sometimes suggestions are made but the large majority of concepts are recommended for approval.
2500 Gross Point is on the northwest corner of Harrison (a/k/a Old Orchard Rd.) and Gross Point, literally on the Evanston/Skokie border, in a small mall that contains an aquarium service company and a cleaners. To the south across the street is an entrance to the Memorial Park cemetery; kitty-corner is the Schaefer's Liquors parking lot.
The area is an understandable target location for a McDonald's. The nearest other outlet is on Dempster, west of Skokie Boulevard; the closest Evanston outlet is at Dempster and Dodge. Any McDonald's in the general vicinity of that proposed would draw naturally on the attractive northwest Evanston, Wilmette, and east Glenview markets.
As with the recent Chase Bank proposal, access and egress are always issues with the angled Gross Point Road. The intersection is high-volume, traveled by at least 20,000 cars per day, many going to or coming from the Edens.
SPAARC meetings are open to the public, in the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Avenue, Room 2404.