Evanston’s City Council could give final approval at its Feb. 27 meeting to Mather Lifeway’s plan to rebuild its retirement facilities at Davis Street and Hinman Avenue.

The aldermen voted to approve the project at the Planning and Development Committee level Monday night and introduced it for discussion by the full council.

Eight of the city’s nine aldermen voted to move the plan forward. Alderman Edmund Moran, 6th Ward, was absent.

The aldermen voted to modify the building plans to increase setbacks from Davis Street and to add a partial 11th floor to the north building.

Mather’s attorney said the additional floor would not increase the overall height of the building, because mechanical equipment on top of the tenth floor would not be raised higher as a result of adding the partial 11th floor.

Aldermen also agreed seek a $125,000 annual fee from Mather for an easement to build a tunnel beneath Davis Street connecting the two buildings.

Mayor Lorraine Morton said, “I really feel very apologetic that the process has taken over two years and cost the Mather Foundation over a million dollars. It’s been a long haul for everybody, and I’m happy that it’s now coming to a close.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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