Northlight Theatre, Farpoint Development and McLaurin Development today announced they are withdrawing plans for a proposed 37-story development in the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue in Evanston.
In a joint statement, the parties said that they now feel that to move forward, “given that the site has become a source of contention, would serve to perpetuate a divisive issue for city leaders and residents in a time of continuing debate about the vision and future of downtown Evanston.”
They said the vast majority of residents have expressed “great enthusiasm for the theater’s return to Evanston.”
The objective of Northlight’s development partners, they added, was to create a vibrant building for downtown Evanston that also allowed for a performing arts center without leaning on the city for financial support.
Northlight Executive Director Tim Evans said, “It continues to be Northlight’s goal to be an integral part of the Evanston community. That includes listening to the concerns and issues raised by residents, businesses and aldermen. Our intent was, and remains, to create a cultural, social and economic hub in downtown Evanston, one that city leaders, residents and local organizations have sought for many years.”
He said such a center would “bring countless patrons to downtown Evanston to dine and shop, and generate new spending, revenue and jobs for the city and area businesses as well as tax relief for its residents.”
Evans said Northight “will now seek other viable locations in Evanston and, perhaps, elsewhere.”
“We now look forward to engaging with the community in constructive conversation about how our relocation can improve the quality of life in Evanston — culturally and economically.”