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City to size up tower economics tonight

Tower model

Evanston’s Economic Development Committee is scheduled to get reports tonight on the financial impact of the proposed Fountain Square tower project.

Tower model
Architect George Halik holds a model of the revised, 38-story design for the tower at last week’s site plan committee meeting.

The EDC meeting at 7:30 p.m. has been moved to the City Council chamber to accommodate what may be a large turnout for the session.

The committee is scheduled to consider a request from developers Tim Anderson and Jim Klutznick for $3 million from the tax increment financing district that includes the Fountain Square block to pay for restoration of the landmark Hahn Building, just south of the proposed tower.

A presentation from city consultant Marty Stern of U.S. Equities is expected to discuss the merits of that request as well as financial projections for the Hahn Building and tower projects.

Last Wednesday the development team, including project architect George Halik, presented updated designs for the 708 Church St. project to the city’s Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee.

At that meeting Community Development Director James Wolinski said that because the new design lops 11 stories off the height but includes the same number of units the result is “a shorter, squattier building.”

Halik said he thought the proportions of the original design “were phenomenal,” but that he believes the new design “has been quite successful in keeping the vertical proportions.”

After tonight’s session, the tower project will return to the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee for a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7.

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