The group that won the competition last year to lease the lakefront Harley Clarke mansion from the City of Evanston for 40 years now is asking more time to meet the fundraising goals outlined in the agreement.
The Artists Book House group had pledged to raise $2 million by May 2022 toward the renovation project that was then estimated to ultimately cost $6.5 million to $8.5 million.
Now the City Council will be asked Tuesday night to approve a lease amendment that would give them until December of this year to raise $1 million and then stretch out the fundraising an extra year-and-a-half to raise what’s now projected to be a total cost of $8 million to $10 million.
The group says the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed fundraising for the project.
The amended lease agreement also stretches out the schedule for completing renovation work on the building from May 2026 to December 2027.
Three groups were in competition for the mansion lease. The Artists Book House proposal was chosen by the City Council on a 7-1-1 vote at a meeting on March 8, 2021.