Aldermen will start asking their own questions about the proposed Mather LifeWays project at the Planning and Development Committee meeting on Monday, Jan. 23.

The aldermen heard arguments from Mather and its foes at the committee meeting Monday night, which recapped six months of hearings before the city’s Plan Commission.

Opponents seemed to score at least one point at Monday’s meeting. They complained that Mather, a non-profit, has argued it wouldn’t be financially viable to build a smaller development on the site, but has refused to provide details of its financing to back up that claim.

A few hours later, as the city council meeting was ending, Ald. Steven Bernstein, 4th Ward, and Ald. Lionel Jean-Baptiste, 2nd Ward, asked the city manager to seek financial data from Mather and have it reviewed by the city’s development consultant, U.S. Equities.

Mather proposes replacing the existing Georgian and Mather Gardens buildings at Hinman Avenue and Davis Street with two new 10-story buildings that would have 245 apartments, 24 assisted living apartments and 40 long-term care suites.

The plan commission unanimously recommended approval of the project on Dec. 7.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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