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Council OKs Kendall project

After three years of debate, the City Council this evening approved plans to redevelop the former Kendall College property at 2408 Orrington Ave.


Wesley Hall, the former Kendall College administration building, now has a date with the wrecking ball.

After three years of debate, the City Council this evening approved plans to redevelop the former Kendall College property at 2408 Orrington Ave.


Wesley Hall, the former Kendall College administration building, now has a date with the wrecking ball.

The action rezones the property from U-1 university to R-1 single-family and authorizes construction of 20 single-family homes on the three-acre site.

The aldermen included language attempting to bar any future non-profit purchaser of the property from avoiding payment of real estate taxes on the land, conditioning approval of the planned development on an covenant to pay taxes.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said she’d been contacted recently by a real estate consultant hired by Roycemore School, which hoped to purchase the Kendall site.

Developer Robert Buono said claims that he plans to sell the property to Roycemore or any other non-profit “have no basis in fact.”

But he objected to the council’s effort to bar transfer of the property to a non-profit, saying it’s arbitrarily applied and a denial of any property owner’s constitutional rights.

The aldermen also voted to overturn the Preservation Commission’s denial of a certificate of appropriateness for demolition of several buildings on the college site that the commission had deemed historically significant.

Judy Fiske of 2319 Sherman Ave. displayed at the council meeting what she said was likely the last of the green “R-1” yard signs neighbors had displayed on their lawns through the controversy.

She said the neighbors had demonstrated “incredible support” for single family zoning for the property and ultimately succeeded in preventing the “zoning sprawl” they feared — the pressure from various institutions and from the redevelopment of downtown Evanston to let higher density development spread into their community.

The aldermen also voted to overturn the Preservation Commission’s denial of a certificate of appropriateness for demolition of several buildings on the college site that the commission had deemed historically significant.

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