The City Council tonight is scheduled to consider two land sales that would raise cash for its tight budget.

The aldermen are considering selling the property now occupied by the Chiaravalle Montessori School to the school for $2.1 million.

The school now is in the 11th year of a 25 year lease with the city for the property, and the lease has options for two ten-year extensions.

The current lease payment is $45,000 a year, rising to $65,000 by the end of the 25-year term.

Under terms of the tentative agreement developed by city staff, the school would also be authorized to demolish an addition on the north side of the former public school and replace it with a somewhat larger one.

The city would retain its ownership of the bulk of Curry Park, located to the north of the school building along Hinman Avenue.

The building is located in the city’s Lakeshore Historic District.

The other sale involves a city owned parcel that is included within the site of a proposed new rental residential development in the 700 block of Chicago Avenue.

The city-owned vacant lot is now leased to an auto dealership to park cars being displayed for sale. The dealdership is relocating to Skokie.

The aldermen are scheduled to vote tonight on an agreement that would net the city $900,000 for that property.

The new construction project, from AMLI Real Estate Development Co., would have 212 rental apartments and 20 live/work units. It is scheduled to be reviewed by the Plan Commission on Wednesday night.

Selling off some city real estate is among the options the city’s blue ribbon committee has discusses as ways for the city to address the financial problems caused by its $145 million public safety pension funding deficit.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. what about 1817 Church?
    Now that the City of Evanston is in the business of selling property, why not sell 1817 Church?

    You know, the building the city bought for $175,000 and then GAVE it 7 years ago to the Westside Citizens District Council to build an African American Museum. After it was discovered the building was in terrible shape and no museum was built, the city last year took it back and now is supposedly looking for another group to GIVE it to. Forget that.

    SELL IT.

    Anonymous Al

    1. Give away our history?
      Al –
      I think that 1817 Church is yet another one of the ‘historic’ buildings in Evanston. I see it on the list of landmarks here.

      So, since this building is supposedly ‘historic’, like the Historic 708 Church Building, the Historic 1890 Maple Building, and the Historic Hahn Building – I don’t know who would want to buy it, since they won’t be permitted to do anything with the property without upsetting the local history-lovers.

      I say: remove any restrictions on development. Even give it away, if necessary, to someone who will develop it and pay taxes on it.

      Mr. Who Knows

  2. Finally coming to their senses
    Now we’re talkin’. The city should’ve been doing this a long time ago. The state should be doing the same thing while lowering taxes. It’s the right thing to do. The government at all levels needs to cut spending and lower taxes.

  3. Agreed — sell it
    We need all of the revenue that we can get. The City of Evanston cannot afford to be giving anything away.

    Sell 1817 Church. One give-away of that property didn’t work. There is no need for another try at a freebie for a special interest group.

    We also need all properties possible on the tax rolls. Giving 1817 Church to a not-for-profit takes it off the tax rolls for pretty much all time.

    Put it on the market. Find a buyer that will put jobs in the 5th Ward, sale proceeds in the City’s pocket now and tax revenue in the City’s pocket in future years.

    Yes, yes. We will hear that no one will buy it or the building is horrible shape for any use other than a museum or some nebulous promise was made to somebody, somewhere that it would be a museum or some other parade of hand-wringing exercises.

    But the property hasn’t been on the market for more than 7 years. List it for sale and let’s see what happens. Unless there is a contract that there will be a museum there, let’s give Evanston taxpayers a break for a change.

    Examine the current plan: give the property away and take the property off the tax rolls with few, if any, jobs created. I must agree — in these economic times, THAT plan gets a Financial Darwin Award.

  4. not so fast – learn about the details on these sales
    I am glad Mr Who is happy – he thinks the city has a good deal – selling off assets. Lets ask a few questions.

    1) First how was the value of these properties established? On the open market appears not. Thus are we taxpayers getting a good deal?

    2) The property going to the school – will most likely not be on the tax rolls ofcourse the geniuses on the council will tell you since it never was on the tax rolls it makes no difference. sounds like last meeting with the PACE program another property going off the tax rolls.

    3) Also look at the last council meeting they gave a developer a sales tax rebate. Are the council members working in the interest of the taxpayers?

    Most of you – better realize the real issue is operations of the city and number of employees not selling off one time assets with minimum impact on the taxes.

    1. Junad’s comments
      Junad Rizki wrote:
      I am glad Mr Who is happy – he thinks the city has a good deal – selling off assets. Lets ask a few questions.

      Junad – it looks like you are responding to Bill Smith’s comments, not mine.

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