Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to approve the city’s purchase of a third commercial building in the stretch of Howard Street between Ridge and Chicago avenues.

Under the new proposal the city would acquire the one-story commercial building at 623 to 627-1/2 Howard for a price of no more than $475,000.

The city a few months ago acquired the three-story mixed-use building next door at 629-31 Howard St. for a price capped at $237,650.

The remainder of that block is occupied by an auto parts store, long a fixture on Howard, which recently received funds from the city to upgrade its facade, and the city’s police outpost at 633 Howard.

Top: 623 to 627-1/2 Howard Street. Above: The recently remodeled auto parts store at the other end of the block.

The other Howard Street property already acquired by the city, for up to $325,000, is at 727-29 Howard Street, which is currently being considered as a possible new home for the Polarity Ensemble Theatre.

Funding for the latest acquisition is to come in the form of a loan from the city’s economic development fund to the Howard-Ridge Tax Increment Financing District with repayment to take place from the TIF over the next 10 years.

Update 6/29/11: Aldermen approved the purchase Monday night on a 7-2 vote with Aldermen Fiske and Wilson voting no. More details in our City Council recap.

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Theater hopes for new home on Howard

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. I thought the city was broke …

    Funny how the city has plenty of money to buy all this property but cries poor at the drop of a hat …

  2. Flipping Out

    Since when did the City of Evanston get into the property flipping business?  Are our aldermen making risky, leveraged gambles with taxpayer money?

  3. Will the city never find an end ?

    How many ways are their for the Council to find ways to spend the taxpayers money—if not gifts to existing stores, it is in buying building which given their record will sit idle for years if not from not being able to do anything with them then from special interests forcing eternal hearings on any proposed use.

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