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Council OKs 1890 Maple tax breaks

The Evanston City Council Monday gave final approval to two forms of tax assistance for the proposed 14-story rental high-rise and retail development at 1890 Maple Ave.


The Evanston City Council Monday gave final approval to two forms of tax assistance for the proposed 14-story rental high-rise and retail development at 1890 Maple Ave.

The same five aldermen who backed the plan a week ago voted for it again Monday.

A last-minute objection came from retiring Alderman Edmund Moran, 6th Ward, who has opposed the project from the start. Moran argued that the limited liability company named as the beneficiary in the final version of the resolution adopting the agreement is not the same entity that the city has been dealing with on the project for the past several years.

“Finding another party here tonight gives me concern,” Moran said.

But David Riefman, the attorney for developer Robert King, said the entity, Parc Investments, LLC, is solely owned by King and managed by Carroll Properties, his development firm.

County records show Parc Investments has owned the property for the past 20 months.

Riefman said it is common for developers to hold the land for each of their projects in separate limited liability companies for liability reasons and to make financing easier.

“This is non-issue that is being turned into an issue that does not exist,” Riefman added.

The two tax breaks would kick in only if the project is successfully built and occupied.

One would reimburse the developer for half the city’s portion of incremental real estate tax revenue generated by the new development. That benefit could last for up to 20 years and is capped at $1.9 million.

The other tax break would reimburse the developer from sales tax revenue generated by a proposed grocery store at the site for the cost of subsidizing the rent rate to attract a grocer.

That program would provide up to an $11 per square foot annual reimbursement for a store of at least 12,000 square feet. It would be limited to 15 years. Depending on the size of the store, that could total as much as $3 million.

Aldermen Wollin, Jean-Baptiste, Holmes, Tisdahl and Rainey voted for the measure. The supporters argued that the tax breaks will help get the project off the ground at a time of economic uncertainty when other projects have stalled, and that if the project doesn’t succeed the city will not have to make any payments to the developer.

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