Evanston aldermen Monday are scheduled to approve leasing the city-owned police outpost on Howard Street for a coffee shop and renting a new, smaller outpost a block further west.

Aldermen approved the outlines of a plan to move the outpost and to find a commercial tenant for the existing space on May 12.

The final deal to be voted on Monday calls for the city to provide free rent to the coffee shop and coffee roasting operation at the current outpost building for two years and then get a gradually escalating rent payment, that would reach $1,000 a month plus a percentage of gross sales by the fifth year.

After three years, coffee shop owner Chris Casas would have the option to buy the building for a price not to exceed $500,000 with a credit for all rent paid. The city would also pay $15,000 toward converting the space for coffee shop use.

Casas would pay property taxes on the building estimated at $11,530 annually. The building has been tax exempt while owned by the city and in its prior use as a synagogue.

Officials say the city spent $100,000 to buy the 2,700 square foot building in 1999 and has spent about $220,000 on upgrades to it since.

The new outpost is proposed for an 800 square foot space at 745 Howard St. The city will pay $1,000 a month to owner Von Medvey Management, L.L.C. for the space and plans to spend about $18,500 to make improvements, including providing an accessible restroom.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the success of two new businesses in city-owned properties just east of the current outpost — Ward Eight and the Peckish Pig — make it an opportune moment to find a commercial tenant for the existing outpost building.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Another Patio deal?

    The city claims it will take $18,500 to renovate the new police outpost – just under the $20,000 – so we have no bids again – and the potential for city workers to work on it – its interesting it took the city over $220,000 renovate – the existing building at 2200 sq ft – assuming about 1/3 – that about $75,000 we all know the $18,500 is bongus – so whats up now?

    We are now partners with a coffee shop since we are going to be getting part of the gross – this is all very interesting – and I have heard they may redo the Chicken and Waffles deal – since they have had a problem paying?  All very interesting –

  2. Anyone need free housing?

    Since the City of Evanston is now in the real estate business, may I suggest that the city use it's huge reserve of excess cash to purchase homes and apartment buildings to lease rent free for two years to anyone without income.  If they do find work after two years, then they could pay, say 6% of their after tax income and after three years they could choose to pay market rate rent, or just go to another suburb with the same free housing set up and start the process all over again.  I admit to not having a real estate license, but don't you think this idea qualifies me to be mayor or at least an alderperson!

    1. Howard street giveaway

      I could not believe the terms of the Police Substation giveaway. Is this new location going to be a second coffee roasting shop for the new tenant? Is he leaving the Greenleaf location where I assume he pays rent for a free business location provided by the taxpayers?

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