City staff, in a memo summarizing a consultant’s report, suggest Evanston should consider selling its Church Street parking garage.

The memo, to be discussed at Monday’s virtual City Council meeting, also suggests that aldermen consider building a new combined city hall and police station on some city-owned property downtown.

The $129,000 report, from consultants at Jones Lang LaSalle, reviews more than a dozen city-owned properties and explores their potential market value.

It notes that the existing Civic Center has nearly 115,000 square feet of space to house just over 160 employees — which is more than triple the 225 square feet per employee that JLL says is now typical for office buildings.

It also says the building’s original construction as a high school makes it difficult to reconfigure for more efficient usage.

The report suggests that both current sites could be sold for redevelopment — the Civic Center potentially for more than $14 million, the police station for $3.5 million.

The staff memo, from Economic Development Manager Paul Zalmezak, suggests not moving forward at this time with a phase two consulting contract with JLL to develop more detailed valuations of properties that might be sold because of the impact of COVID-19 on the city budget.

Instead, Zalmezak recommends revising plans for that phase two study to require less work from the consultants to reduce its overall cost.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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