About three dozen contractors showed up at the Civic Center this morning for a pre-bid conference on the first six foreclosed or abandoned properties to be rehabilitated under Evanston’s $18 million federal housing grant.

Contractors line up for bid packets.

The contractors received bid packets and a explanation of the program from Mike Cornell, the president of BCM, LLC. BCM is a subsidiary of the city’s partner in the grant program, Brinshore Development, and is the general contractor for the project.

Mike Cornell explains the bid process.

Proposals from the contractors are due at noon on Friday, Oct. 22.

Contractors read over the 20-page bid package.

The city has pledged that minority, women or Evanston-owned businesses will get at least a quarter of the work on the project and to provide training and employment opportunities to low-income residents of the city.

But the Evanston Minority Business Consortium has announced plans for a protest rally Saturday at Lake Street Church, claiming minority businesses are not getting their fair share of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant work.

2020 Brown Ave.

The federal grant, awarded in January, is intended to fix up and find new residents for 100 housing units by the end of 2012 in two city census tracts that have been hard-hit by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. The properties in the initial round include buildings at 1704 Grey Ave., 1919 Grey Ave., 1836 Brown Ave., 2020 Brown Ave., 1726 Darrow Ave., and 131 Custer Ave.

1704 Grey Ave.

The contractors are to get walk-through tours of the properties on Wednesday and Monday.

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Housing grant draws protest plans

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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