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City to seek bids for library lot development

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Evanston officials plan to seek bids starting Thursday for sale of the city-owned parking lot at 1714-20 Chicago Ave. for redevelopment as an office building.

Putting the property up for sale was approved by the City Council last month, and final review of plans for the sale process is scheduled for the Economic Development Committee meeting tonight.

The two city-owned parcels just east of the Evanston Public library total about 30,000 square feet — but they include the right of way for a portion of the alley separating the library from the parking lot. Subtract the alley area and the city is considering selling off about 27,000 square feet.

City officials say they want to get $5 million for the land and would also require the buyer to include at least the same 74 spaces of public parking in the new development that are now provided by the parking lot.

The city's proposal says it's seeking a development that would bring for-profit businesses to occupy the offie space — potentially corporate headquarters or startup firms.

The land is now zoned R6, a high-density residential zoning with an 85-foot height limit. Rezoning would be required to permit the desired office development.

The timeline contained in the staff memo shows a deadline for submitting bids for the property of Sept. 30 with City Council action on the proposed sale scheduled for Nov. 14.

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