Evanston aldermen Monday are scheduled to approve plans for the city to acquire a vacant lot at 1805 Church St. that once was the site of a gas station as the potential location for a new affordable housing development.

The property, owned by E-Town Community Ventures, which is controlled by Daniel Cheifetz, would be turned over to the city under a deed in lieu of foreclosure process in which Cheifetz would receive no cash for the property but the city would cancel several liens it has filed against the property over the years for unpaid property standards fines.

As part of the agreement, the city would pledge to “make best efforts” to redevelop the property for affordable housing and to require a new developer to use local labor in the redevelopment of the site.

In 2006 the City Council rejected on a 5-4 vote plans to build 27 units of rent-to-own housing on the site after neighbors objected to the proposal.

The city has been attempting to acquire the parcel from Cheifetz since at least 2012.

Combined with two city-owned lots at 1708-1710 Darrow, just north of the gas station site, city staff says the property could be redevelopwed with a mixed use building that would likely have commercial space and tenant parking on the ground floor and a total of 16 apartment units on the second and third floors.

Related stories

Evanston wants to buy abandoned gas station site (6/11/12)

City considers buying failed development site (6/14/10)

Neighbors review Church-Dodge plan (10/13/06)

Aldermen reject affordable housing plan (5/22/06)

Aldermen get affordable housing hot potato (3/26/06)

Plan Commission gives thumbs down to Darrow Corners (3/9/06)

Darrow Corners plan draws fire from neighboring developer (1/26/06)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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