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Adult daycare OK’d for Davis

Despite objections from some neighbors, Evanston aldermen voted 8-1 this week to approve plans for an adult daycare center in storefronts at 524-526 Davis St.

Landlord Ted Mavrakis.

Despite objections from some neighbors, Evanston aldermen voted 8-1 this week to approve plans for an adult daycare center in storefronts at 524-526 Davis St.

Landlord Ted Mavrakis.

The vote reversed a preliminary decision to deny the request that aldermen had made at their last meeting.

Opponents of the project, including Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, had objected because would eliminate ground-floor retail space on the block — which she said would cost the city tax revenue.

But landlord Ted Mavrakis argued that he’d been unable to find a retail tenant for the space in the four years he has owned the building.

He said the city had previously approved a special use request for a day care center for children at the site, but the approval process took eight months — and a week later he learned that the investor behind that project was pulling out.

Noting that he just had to pay a $65,000 property tax bill on the building this week, Mavrakis said the adult day care center would be a viable tenant, and he pleaded for aldermen to approve it.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said he recognized the concerns of neighbors, but said that with a lot of vacant space downtown, "at some point we have to start saying yes to things."

He said city staff who inspected Omega Community Healthcare’s site in Lincolnwood gave a favorable report about the operation.

The aldermen added conditions to the special use that it be limited to Omega, and not be automatically transferrable to another operator at the site, that Evanston residents be given priority access to the program and that program participants not be restricted by staff in going outside the building — where they might shop or dine in local restaurants.

With those changes Fiske ultimately voted for the proposal, but Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, voted against it, saying she believed the program doesn’t provide sufficient staffing to supervise its participants.

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