A city consultant says Evanston’s commercial real estate market has several times the vacant Class B space needed to relocate office tenants who’d be displaced by the proposed Fountain Square tower.

Consultant Marty Stern of U.S. Equities Realty says, in a report to be presented to the city’s Economic Development Committee Wednesday night, that nine different generally suitable Class B buildings have a total of 50,072 square feet of vacant space — nearly four times the 12,887 square feet still occupied in the 708 Church St. building.

Most of that Class B space is on the edge of downtown.

The tenants who would need to move generally have less than 1,000 feet of space now, so Stern eliminated several buildings that have only large blocks of space available from his list.

In addition, Stern says there is about 141,000 square feet of more expensive Class A space available downtown and 21,000 square feet of less expensive Class C space, most of it downtown.

Opponents of the tower project have claimed that office tenants displaced by the tower would be driven out of Evanston because of a lack of affordable office space in the city.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. no shortage of office space
    I concur that there is plenty of office space available in Evanston. Did the consultant list which buildings, the address and space available in each? What has been done by the 708 developer to connect those office tenants to available space?

  2. retail too
    So the ECRD ‘fire safety’ issue has been debunked, the ECRD ‘tax revenue’ issue has been debunked, and now the ‘Class B’ issue has also been debunked.

    I walked down Church St. today, and saw a sign in the window of the former Baja Fresh/Active Endeavors site, announcing that Uncle Dan’s is coming. This is excellent news – filling up an empty space on Church and keeping that store in Evanston. It also discredits the ECRD claims that the city will lose sales tax revenue if the 708 building is demolished. The good stores will just find new locations in Evanston. I was wondering why none of the merchants in the 708 building – except for one – were visibly supporting the ECRD. It looks like most of them are being reasonable, and have spent their time scouting out new locations.

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