The year 2017 in Evanston was filled with controversy over police policies, a hotly contested election and debates over development. Here’s a look at some of the top stories.
Police released video and audio recordings Jan. 11 that showed an incident in which police, responding to a 911 call about a stolen car, ended up pulling over the car’s owner — and the confrontation that followed.
The incident led to a lawsuit, still pending, filed against the city and four police officers by the car’s driver, Lawrence Crosby, a Northwestern University graduate student.
- Mayor recaps Crosby case chronology. (Jan 24)
Rob Bady with his son Iain addressing the City Council meeting.
Over the summer another controversy arose after police arrested two 12-year-olds who’d been on a bicycle that nearly caused a traffic accident downtown crossing against a light. The debate continued into the fall:
- Speakers claim police here mistreat blacks (Sept. 7)
- Aldermen get report on 12-year-old-s arrest (Nov. 4)
- Union rep says city has strong police oversight (Dec. 5)
Steve Hagerty speaking to supporters on election night after his victory.
Sustained cheers broke out at the Steve Hagerty election night party on April 4 as the final vote totals show Hagerty with a narrow victory over Mark Tendam. The margin: 50.47 percent to 49.53 percent, after a long and controversy-filled election campaign.
- Voters also approved, by a 4-1 margin, a 16.7 percent tax levy increase for School District 65.
- And they elected three new aldermen to the City Council.
A changing retail scene
The Whole Foods at 1111 Chicago Ave. in an image from Google Maps.
- In January, we learned that Whole Foods would close its store at 1111 Chicago Ave. Plans to open a Binny’s Beverage Depot on the site drew opposition from some competitors, and some neighbors, in November.
- In May, Target announced plans to open downtown, filling some long-vacant storefronts in Sherman Plaza — with the opening scheduled for March 2018.
- In August Lyfe Kitchen closed downtown, but with plans to reopen in the 1603 Orrington rotunda space early this year with a new dining concept.
- In May a new music venue, Evanston Rocks, was announced to replace the shuttered 27 Live on Church Street .
A rendering of the final design for the Albion project as approved by the City Council.
In November, the City Council voted 5-4 to approve plans for the 15-story Albion Residential planned development at 1450 Sherman Ave.
The vote came after months of discussion and several rounds of modifications to the plan.
But none of the changes appeared to bring any satisfaction to a group of opponents. They repeatedly interrupted aldermanic discussion of the development at the final meeting and hurled insults at aldermen after the vote.
In other development news:
- A 33-story development was proposed for 601 Davis St.
- A 37-story building that would house the Northlight Theatre was proposed for the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue.
- A 25-story building was proposed for the 1600 block of Chicago Avenue.
- A 17-story building was proposed for a parking lot at 1727 Oak Ave.
- And aldermen agreed to sell a city parking lot in the 1700 block of Chicago Avenue to a developer planning to build an 11-story office building there.