2500-gross-point2012-07-28_

Evanston would get its third McDonald’s restaurant if city officials approve a developer’s plans for property at 2500 Gross Point Road.

The roughly 27,000 square foot site now houses an aquarium maintenance shop that helps people deal with brown algae in fish tank and a string of other small businesses including a beauty salon and a maid service.

The property is two blocks southwest of the corner of Crawford Avenue and Gross Point Road where intense opposition from neighors led aldermen last week to reject plans for a new Chase Bank branch with a drive thru at the site of a shuttered gas station.

The McDonald’s project is scheduled to go before Evanston’s Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The developer is requesting a special use permit for the carry-out style restaurant and for a drive-thru on the property.

The proposal will also require review by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals and the City Council.

Bridget O’Keefe, an attorney for the developer, hasn’t responded yet to an email message sent Friday requesting more information about the project.

The existing two McDonald’s restaurants in Evanston are located at 1919 Dempster St. and 1117 Howard St.

The Howard Street property is slightly smaller than the Gross Point Road site, while the Dempster Street location is considerably larger.

Top: 2500 Gross Point Road.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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40 Comments

  1. No golden arches!

    Alderman Mark Tendam, if you are reading this, please stand up for your ward!

    Fast food, plus drive through, plus those hideous yellow arches, would be a tremendous eyesore. Lower property values for nearby residents, and a huge addition to traffic at all hours.

    Particularly hideous for the adjacent Hillside neighbors, some of whom would have that McDonalds literally in their backyard, and for the condos just north on Gross Point.

    And how trashy would it be to have that right across from the cemetery, such a well-maintained and tranquil place? I cannot think of anything worse to put in the neighborhood than a fast-food drive through.

    Plus, the kind of traffic it will bring will not be the type to patronize other local businesses. i.e., It will not have a positive impace on revitalizing the west Central St. business district. It will just make the neighborhood a junky, low-class area with big yellow arches and lots of teenagers zooming in and out.

    I can just see the home values plummeting. And there isn't even a sidewalk on the north side of Harrison adjacent to that property, so it's already hard for pedestrians from the Hillside neighborhood to navigate that corner.

    Add in drive-through traffic, and it will be even more pedestrian-unfriendly.  If the Chase proposal was deemed unacceptable, this one is far worse.

    Please don't let a fast-food drive-through into the neighborhood!

    1. McDonald’s will likely not impact home values.

      I won't address your, in my opinion, misguided call for Alderman to pick and choose which businesses can enter the Evanston market… I'll save that for a different day.

      However, I do want to address your point that property values will "plummet" with the presence of  a McD's.  That is very unlikley, and in fact, will probably have no real impact.  NIMBY folks are always quick to say that the presence of anything they don't like will adversely impact property values, but such sentiments are hardly ever backed up by facts.

      For example, for a long time, people argued that a Walmart would adversely impact property values, but new research seems to indicate the opposite may be true:

      http://abcnews.go.com/Business/economists-find-walmart-stores-increase-nearby-home-prices/story?id=16560451&singlePage=true#.UBbQfcWV1RV

      In the end, if the place is zoned commercial (and/or for a restaurant) — it is very unfair and misguided for residents to say they only want non-chain, non-fast food, etc.  Ultimately, these restaurants will make or break because of the market demand.  While I personally would love to see more healthier, non-chain restaurants abound, the big reason more don't exist (or stay in business) is because the residents don't vote with their dollars.  Want to change the landscape of restaurants in a town… convince more people to stop patronizing fast food joints and to support local, healthier places… but until that happens, its hard to whine about what opens.

    2. McD’s and the cemetery?

      I would just like to point out the McDonalds would probably have no effect on the 'trashy-ness' of the cemetery. If you look at the entrance on Skokie Boulevard, the cemetery is across the street from Old Orchard, I giant outdoor mall.

      Also, next to the cemetery on the south side is an outlet mall, filled with Petco, Party City, and Panera Bread. That doesn’t exactly seem really classy to me…

       

  2. Howard Street McDonalds

    The new McDonalds being the third is stretching it.  Howard is barely Evanston and with the crime in the area most would not think of going there.

    The one on Dodge and Dempster is in Evanston but given the crime in the area and stories about why the plaza is a failure, you have to REALLY want to go there—takes a real 'Mac Attack.'

    There was one downtown but the Orrington [and city] kicked them out.  Now we have had mostly vacant restaurant space there.

    Speaking of  places no longer here, how did we loose so many KFC and Browns [use to be at least two] ? Look at all the places that closed on Sherman south of Taco Bell; and Uber Burger and on Orrington just north of the old Borders.

    Are they telling us Evanston is not a desirable place ?  I was told when the Orrington kicked out McDonalds, they were asked if they would relocate downtown and they said no—impossible to make a profit with how the regulations and taxes hit them. 

    When you can't keep fastfood shops, you know you are in trouble !

  3. Say NO to McDonalds drive thru!

    Evanston does not need another McDonalds drive thru.  We want locally grown businesses – not more corporations.  Alderman Tendem:  Work to make this part of Evanston look more like the rest of Evanston; not less!  We all live in Evanston and this area is looking more like Glenview!  We need/want to feel MORE pedestrian; not less!  We want more sidewalk cafes and bike lanes out here – not drive-thru's!  Please, Evanston Plan Commission and City Council, don't approve a drive thru!

    1. A need to mesh with reality

      Again… "locally grown businesses" are fine n' dandy, but you actually need people to open the businesses and need people to patronize the businesses.  Just wanting them or saying that this is what Evanston wants is not enough… it has to mesh with reality.  In the meantime, it's unfair to the commercial property owners to make them turn away willing and ready tenants just because someone has an aversion to chain restaurants.

      1. It is fair if they want to use the existing building

        Nobody has a right to fundamentally alter their property in such a way that it will negatively impact their neighbors. Whoever bought the property did so knowing the current zoning regulations and the current use of the property. If McDonalds adapts the aquarium building or builds on its same footprint in accordance to zoning and building regulations, fine. They obviously don't want to do that since they are clearly going for a planned development. They really don't have a "right" to fundamentally transform the property, the establsihment of a drive-through, more parking, or anything else they might want. If it comports with the law, great. Let's not give them any special privileges. Nobody has a right to those.

  4. economic development but NIMBY

    I also live in the 6th ward- I say, let McDs come.

    I think the food is gross, and it makes my kids puke, literally.  However, considering the city is spending millions on economic development, it seems asinine to turn down privately financed development.  If you also don't like the food, don't go- but let economic development happen without public money.

    Considering the neighbors across the street from this intersection are already deceased,  I hardly think they will care about their property values.   There are already businesses there now, so the people backing up to the property have no right to claim that they didn't know this was a business zoned area. Winnetka has a McDonalds for god's sake, it is not going to bring down the block.

     Furthermore, I drive past this intersection every day to work, and have never once seen a pedestrian in several years- So any claims that it will make it hard to navigate are seem silly since no one is walking there now.

     I disagree with several posters here that say they don't welcome this type of junky low class business with teenagers.  The 6th ward is not "too good" for this business.  

     

  5. There is a bias against chain branded sandwiches

    McD's is no worse than Little Island just up the street which sells hot dogs, burgers and fries.  The difference is the mass market brand.  Get over it folks.  When he was first elected Mark Tendam sent an email out to constituents saying that he was concerned about the Subway that was soon to open at Central and Crawford.  Well it has been there for a while now with no ill effects. 

    Yes, traffic flow is a valid concern.  That is why the city has traffic engineers who can opine on the subject.  Bias agains mass market brands is not a good basis for public policy, especially when your city has too many vacant store fronts.

    Appearance is a valid concern too.  If they set up brightly lit big golden arches, it would not fit at all in that area, but not all McD's stores have that.  Hopefully the city council will look at the plans before they make up their minds.

    If they do vote it down, then I hope someone reminds them of that fact next time they complain about lack of summer employment for teenagers.

    1. A bias against chains

      Corporate restaurants are not the same as something that is locally owned and operated.  I really don't understand what we need to "get over" and why. 

      This property is not empty.  And, there certainly is no lack of fast food in this area.  I live near here and I want my elected officials to consider what this site could be like if something such as a Mista Pizza opened here. Or Irazu (they have been looking).  Or countless others from Evanston or around this area. 

      Something that is home grown, that would be a unique addition – not something that we can get at or near a mall (which is only a mile away!).   Yes, I would agree that Hot Dog Island could and should clean up it's building so as not to look so dilapadated.  But, I would willingly take another Hot Dog Island instead of a McDonald's. 

      This idea that only corporate America will come and save us from vacant stores will actually come to be true if people don't demand something better.  Every gosh darn street in the suburbs looks like every other gosh darn street in the suburbs of America.  It doesn't matter if you live in Charlotte or Cincinatti.  Portland, Maine or Portland Oregon.  It all looks the same.  You can't even tell where you are anymore. 

      McDonald's, then a Burger King, then a KFC, then a Subway, etc. and then if you continue down the street, it all starts over again: McDonald's, then Burger King, then a KFC, then a Subway.  America's landscape is chain store after chain store.  Chain restaurant after chain restaurant ….nothing has any personality. 

      No place feels like anything different.  We have our fair share of chain restaurants and stores.  Clearly, it is not going to be our sameness, but our uniqueness, that will give us the economic edge. 

       

  6. McDonalds location

    I am puzzled by this choice of location – as another person commented, it is opposite a cemetary and just down Old Orchard Rd. from a large golf course – not very dense population. Also, Old Orchard is a 2-lane road and gets pretty crowded during rush hours — will people enter from Gross Point or Old Orchard? How will they leave? As far as how it looks, Winnetka required McDonalds to build something that suited their community, and it looks very nice – I'm assuming Evanston can work up the gumption to require something similar, since there is a residental area just behind the location, as well as a senior living/rehab facility next door. (No big brightly lit signs, please!) It's not a particularly urban location, and a traditioal McDonalds would look way out of place.  Also, I'm surprised that the neighbors of the closed gas station didn't want a Chase branch — it's a BANK!  They don't have long hours, closed Sundays and major holidays, they build nice buildings with landscaping, they're quiet, and judging from the drive through that's currently on Central, not all that busy. Don't you think a bank branch is a whole lot better than a gas station? Although I miss being able to fill up close to home in Evanston, now I go down Crawford to a station in Skokie. We need to increase our tax base, so let's do it intelligently – if McDonalds can build an atractive, unobtrusive restaurant, that won't foul up traffic, let 'em.
    And bring back the bank!

    1. Chase wanted rezoning

      The problem with Chase is that they wanted to buy an adjacent residentially zoned property and have it rezoned for commercial. There is nothing wrong with Chase taking over the gas station and turning it into a bank in accordance with the current zoning map.

      1. No rezoning

        Yes, and I believe most of us would welcome the much smaller bank to be built. 

    2. Location

      I think it would be a great location for McDonalds.  Those in south Wilmette and mid to North Evanston use that path to get to all kinds of places – the mall, the highway, Lifetime, Courthouse, etc.

  7. No thanks!

    A McDonald's in this area is not needed or wanted!  I live in this immediate area and I can tell you, I would not have bought if a McDonald's was there.  Do we really want our neighborhood turned into a drive thru crappy fast food store? 

    Evanston is too good for this type of business in all our neighborhoods…keep the McDonald's at highway off ramps and out of our neighborhoods.  I certainly expect Alderman Mark Tendam to stand up for our neighborhoods, residents, children, and our ward and say NO!

    1. Vive le MacDo!

      "Evanston is too good for this type of business in all our neighborhoods"

       I thought that the goal of every NIMBY is to turn Evanston into Winnetka……and Winnetka has a McDonald's on Green Bay, just south of Tower.  So why shouldn't Evanston?

      Tower!!!   That reminds me…Evanston needs a tower!  When are they going to knock down 708 Church?

      Maybe to make the Native Born Lifelong Evanstonians feel important, we should insist that this Evanston McDonald's be like a French McDonald's and offer all kinds of Frenchified dishes, from the Alpine burger with three different kinds of cheese to tasty little gallette des rois, or King's Cakes, popular after Christmas and sold by all the bakeries. Last year, it introduced the McBaguette.

      So maybe we can have a special McDonald's, with a McCafe where servers wear little berets and serve McBaguettes and espressos.

       

       

    2. Starbucks

      You sound just like the neighbors who tried to keep Starbucks out of that neighborhood.  Yet it finally prevailed and the sky is not falling.

      Do you have any idea what a snob you sound like?  And I suggest you take a look around your neighborhood.   The CVS and liquor stores …

  8. Let ’em build

    I remember how the neighbors went on about Starbucks and the Subway turning the neighborhood into a dingy property-value-losing eyesore. 

    Now it's a locally grown, pedestrian friendly, with a sidewalk cafe, desired at that very heavy vehicle use intersection that is OBVIOUSLY very non-pedistrian friendly. Similar to the other poster,  I have been driving past there for 25 years and don't think I have ever seen even one pedestrian there. 

    Nimby's and their "the sky is falling" again, typical and predictable.  I don't live far from there and I think it is an excellent proposition for that location.  The concern to make the building look good with brick (like the Winnetka store) is very valid. Short of that, let 'em build.  It will be extremely successful. 

    Unfortunately, Chase was a stupid mistake and this will probably meet the same fate.  The Nimby's owe the city the difference in diminished, lost property taxes.  They should have a special assessment added to their bills to make up for the lost real estate taxes, jobs, and sales taxes to the city for both properties.    

       

  9. There’s no value in this idea.

    The last thing we need is a McDonald's.

    I like the idea of a home grown, local business. Whether it's a restaurant, doesn't matter so much as something that adds value to the neighborhood. Remarkably, a nearby Starbucks manages to do that. A McDonald's, under any circumstances, does not add value. It only can reduce value.

    it's an eyesore, no matter what brick is used; no matter how small the signs, and no matter how much landscaping. The worst part is the drive-through. It's not allowed by zoning and that's how it should remain. Let them, or whoever, build by right, if they must build.

    The only value this would bring is to the seller and to McD's corporate headquarters.

  10. Clean cars and trash-strewn streets

    I live in South Evanston in an area with mostly street parking and not really near to any fast food establishment. Even so, I have lost count of the times I have seen discarded food bags and cups from fast food restaurants like White Castle, McDonald's, and Burger King–either tossed from cars into the middle of the street as they drive through neighborhoods, or left curbside after drivers park and exit their cars. 

    I'm sure most of these drivers have immaculately clean cars–because they don't want to make the effort (or simply don't care) about thoughtfully and properly disposing of their refuse. And they obviously don't care how their slovenly tossing of food wrappers makes ours neighborhoods look ('the street sweepers will eventually take care of it") or how it affects the look and quality of life of Evanston streets.

    In short, me and others don't want the City of Evanston to be giving these inconsiderate jerks even more opportunities to use our streets and lawns as a trash can after they've ingested all those fat, salt, and corn syrup-laden products.

    1. liberty, personal responsibility, and fast food

      Is the answer to this problem having the government outlaw fast food joints?

      This reminds me that this past year that Oak Park residents also wanted to outlaw a McDonald's because it was planned across the street from an obesity clinic. The thought was that the food there would be too difficult for clients to pass up.   Did McDonalds make these people fat, or did the people choose to put too much food in their mouths?  What about personal responsibilty?

      I am no fan of McDonalds.   However, I am a fan of personal liberty.   When the government starts choosing what business can and can't open because of the resistance of a few,our personal freedom to vote with money, which is the truest form of democracy,  is eliminated. 

      The best way to eliminate McDonalds would be for people to stop spending money there!    Chat with your neighbors about the health consequences of the crap, and encourage them not to go! 

      For all of you who want more mom and pop shops in town, exclusively spend your money at these establishments.  THrow away your costco card.  Don't go to Target. Don't eat at starbucks, panera, chipotle, BK, or any of the other more corporate chains. Vote with your money. 

      to Joe Pred- Why don't you start a neighborhood campaign to pick up the trash?   If your neighbors start seeing a bunch of local kids picking up their trash, perhaps they'll think twice next time before tossing it out the window.   
       

       

       

      1. Liberty is not the issue here

        I too am a fan of personal liberty and we have it  there already.  Jen, the issue here is really not that a restaurant is allowed or not allowed based on the name of the restaurant.  It is that a drive thru is NOT allowed.  They must get special permission from the City Council to have it, so it is not a case of "personal liberty" being violated.  They are requesting permission from the City.  We are saying that we don't want the City Council to give that permission.   I am not sure of the underlying zoning, but I imagine that a restaurant (including a non-drive thru McDonalds!) could be allowed right now.  If a restaurant is allowed with the existing zoning, then a non-drive thru McDonalds – and any other restaurant is free to come by right.  They can just apply for a permit, and when it's issued, they will start building.  Period.  No discussion needed here – or anywhere.  My guess is that McDonalds will not come unless they can have a drive thru.

        I have no problem with McDonalds coming in to this location so long as they don't need any special permission or money from the City.  BTW, I do spend my dollars at Mom and Pop shops becuase I like the service, the varied menus or items for sale. I like the individual style that come through in small operations.  We need more of that; not less.  I believe the City Council and Zoning laws should encourage that sort of thing and not spend my tax dollars buying parking lots for Trader Joes in a neighborhood where there are 2 large (and very corporate) grocery stores already.

        1. A drive thru is allowed

          A drive-thru is allowed, just not by right. The entire zoning ordinance outlines what is allowed by right, and what must be requested from the city. I would assume that you would also oppose the improvement of any of your neighbors' homes if that also were not permitted by right. That is the same logic that is being applied to this situation. 

      2. Jen wrote: “to Joe Pred- Why

        Jen wrote: "to Joe Pred- Why don't you start a neighborhood campaign to pick up the trash?   If your neighbors start seeing a bunch of local kids picking up their trash, perhaps they'll think twice next time before tossing it out the window."

        Let's see. I simply pick up bags of McDonald's container trash to set an example for those who carelessly throw it out the window as they're driving through my neighborhood. 

        Yeah, Jen, such actions on my part are really going to have a positive, guilt-inducing effect on some moron who would do such a thing in the first place. 

        I would rather prevent them having the opportunity to do so in the first place. Now there's a "neighborhood campaign" I can get behind.

        Yeah, Jen, you certainly are a fan of "personal liberty"….unfortunately, the bad version.

        1. Joel’s faulty logic

          Joel's apparent solution to eliminate litter is to prevent a business, McDonalds, from opening a new store.

          If litter is the issue, is it McDonalds fault or Burger King or White Castle for that matter. Yes, those establishments should provided appropriate trash cans both inside and outside for their customers to use. But are those establishments littering or is it their customers? There are littering laws in place and those should be enforced.

          The troubling issue is that our "personal liberty" is being encroached upon by small, organized citizens who think "they know" what's best for the community and a government that increasingly intervenes and limits our choices.

          McDonalds by the way offers very healthy salads, not just fattening Big Macs. No one is forcing you to eat 3 Macs a day. If you choose to do so, you bare the consequences. McDonalds does offer convenience and consistent services. (clean bathrooms by the way – my 4 kids appreciate that service)

          Zoning laws and other laws exist for a purpose. As long as a business is conforming to those laws, let them invest the capital, create jobs, serve their customers, and pay taxes to the community. It's their analysis and willingness to take risk and fail that continues to enable our community and country to grow.

          Imposing unnecessary restrictions on people isn't the American way.

           

          1. Tom’s Pain

            Tom's Pain Wrote: The troubling issue is that our 'personal liberty' is being encroached upon by small, organized citizens who think 'they know' what's best for the community and a government that increasingly intervenes and limits our choices."

            Let's see Tom…you appear to be framing that as the cause celebre of politically correct liberals, but we could be talking about Republicans who…

            1. Restrict legal access to contraceptives and who pass laws to prevent them from being available, period.

            or

            2. Religious fundies who want to teach Creationism in schools and who take over school boards so we can teach kids that Jesus had pet dinosaurs.

            or

            3. Politicians who sign "no new taxes" pledges and as a result make the economy worse by the subsequent mass laying off public employees.

             

          2. is this really a left or right issue?

            I"m not sure what contraceptions, creation, or no new tax pledges have to do with this issue-

            Personally, I do not care about McDonalds.  I don't like their food.   I do care that my tax bill is up 11% in two years, the water rates are up, the teachers are about to strike due to lack of funding,  services across the city are in continual threat of closure, and our public pensions are severely underfunded.  Meanwhile, the city is spending 10 million dollars to bring in new economic development to broaden the tax base and here we have a legitimate business, the third this year, that a small group of vocal citizens want to turn away for various reasons.  

            I'm not going to debate whether tax cuts create jobs, but I will argue that turning away a privately financed  business is not a good move for a city whose number one goal is economic development.   The city is spending almost a million dollars just to employ people who are trying to bring in new businesses.   ("$658,000 of the spending will go to staff salaries and fringe benefit with another $207,000 for consultants and $50,000 for travel, memberships, furniture and other miscellaneous costs." per Evanstonnow article on 10 million in spending)

            Look, I'd be first in line to cheer if no one ate McDonalds.  The stuff is shit.  But people for whatever reason buy it.  IF they don't buy it from us in Evanston, they will go somewhere else and get it.   Turning away a McDonalds from our town is not going to bring in more mom and pop shops, we have plenty of empty storefronts to choose from already.  It's just going to leave us with less tax revenue.  If we want Evanston to continue to be a great diverse place to live with all the various services we enjoy, we have to stop being so elitist with the "this is going to turn us into Glenview or Schaumburg" nonsense.    Otherwise, Evanston will end up being a town exclusively for the very rich and very poor- those who can afford the property taxes and those who pay none.  

            And yes Joe Pred., I do believe that  by picking up garbage on your block you will set a positive example.  IN fact, the idea that litter is a "gateway" to other crimes was part of the "broken window" theory of political scientist James Q Wilson.  Mayor Rudy Guiliani tested out this theory, urging clean up of streets, and it literally transformed NYC.  If streets are clean and properties are maintained, less crimes are committed overall and fewer people are likely to throw garbage in the future.   

            Now there is a city-wide economic development project I would support- A high school summer work program for teenagers for litter free streets.

          3. Personal liberty is not at stake

            Tom, personal liberty is not the issue. This issue has only come up because they don't want to use the existing zoning, but instead are asking for special permission.

  11. McDonalds downtown Evanston

    Remeber when McDonalds wanted to build downtown Evanston ? The city made them have a matradee dressed in a cheap matradee suit.  The place also had to be decorated in a cheap bistro style.  No 'golden arches', and I'm probably forgetting some of the other silly things.

    Small, yes but typical of the way the city committees want to micro-manage everything.

  12. Fastfood trash and other sources

    In north Evanston [from downtown to Isabella and at least Greenbay] I see far less fastfood trash than I do cans, water bottles, and newspaper on lawns and gutters.  The home owners do not pick up much of it—it can sit there for days until i or other bikers/walkers pick it up.  Once at the cul de sac at Bryant and south end of the park, there were 17 beer can that sat there for a week—I waited to see if the neighbores would pick them up but after a week I gave up on them and picked them up myself.

    I can understand why kids and others toss the beer cans, and wine/liquor bottles [not to get caught by police], but why so many water, soda cans and bottles ?

    BTW some of these remain on the 'well kept(?)' lawns of very expensive houses.  I would not be surprised if these are also the NIMBY who want historic districts, protest every new building/house and complain about McDonalds three miles from them.

  13. You have a good business here now.

    I own Aquarium Professionals Group, the business currently located at 2500 Gross Point Road and pictured above.

    Our lease ends in the fall. Business is down but we're still in the black provided we don't have to incur major expenses – such as moving. If McDonald's moves here, we'll be forced to close after sixteen years in business.

    We relocated here six years ago, after operating the company for a number of years out of a residential building in Evanston. We've been in business since 1996 and employ good people. We pay a lot more than McDonalds and provide health insurance and other benefits.

    You already have a good business here Evanston. We plan on being here for a long time, unless Evanston approves this McDonalds. Should this happen, 15 people will lose their jobs at a time when jobs are almost impossible to find.

    As the owner of this business, I can also tell you that traffic at this intersection is already a nightmare. It's one of the busiest intersections in town. You cannot turn left out of either driveway for our parking lot. Drive-through traffiic at this corner would be from Gross Point, out to Old Orchard only and cars attempting to turn left will block traffic. When a funeral is in progress (about four times a week), traffic already backs up to Central on Gross Point and to Skokie Blvd. on Old Orchard. This also happens during AM and PM rush hour.

    1. Keep independant businesses in Evanston

      I'm glad you've voiced your side of the story since it hasn't been reported on. Most people would think that you're wanting to move to another location or are closing shop.

      Best of luck to you! I hope you're able to stay at your present location. It would be criminal to see you lose your well established business to a fast food chain in this town which claims to support independant businesses.

  14. Mcdonald real issues

    In looking at the site plan, it is very clear the drive through will not work. The city engineer clearly was stating this in the article. ( per site plan review)   While the current businesses have  a far less volume of traffic entering exiting the site the exit on old orchard is very problematic since it interfers with turning cars.

    The entire site plan would need to be reworked.  Given the size of the lot it appears too small for the use also.

    I also see the drive through as an additional problem for the adjoining residental property owners, the effect on the idling cars, could depending on wind conditions, put the engine flumes in their yards.

    There is another issue here I would  like to known if city economic developement staff is planning to offer any of our tax dollars to the developer the article does not say,but as with felony franks staff was talking to them. Wally wants to spread the love so to speak that is our tax dollars.

    While some comments here are focusing on the fast food issue, The bigger issue is clearly having a workable traffic flow, which this does not.

    Finallly if the traffic flow issue could be resolved, its time the city council makes corporate business and others put in something attractive, Winnetka did it to its McDonald why can't our council members?

  15. Yes to McDonalds

    The tax revenue that this store will add will be a welcome addition to the City.  The average per unit sales for a McDonald's is $2,400,000.00 (data from QSR industry reports from 2010 sales).  While I agree that we would rather have a new small business open, let's be realistic in that Corporations like McDonald's have the capital to invest in growth bringing new jobs along with that growth.

    mcDonald's is the number one QSR in the world beating its next closest competitor (Subway) by three times the sales volume.  Simply put there will be a positive economic impact by allowing this major brand to expand into our community. This should be looked at from a long term view in that this business WILL NOT FAIL and continue to add much needed tax revenues for years to come. 

    1. This IS NOT abandoned property!

      2.4 million? Big deal.

      APG averaged over 2 million per year in sales for three years. Though we're down right now, if you add in the beauty salon, the dry cleaner and the Pro Maid maid service, we're well over the revenue of a single McDonalds.

      McDonalds employs part-timers so they don't have to pay health insurance. They pay minimum wage. We pay well and provide health insurance.

      Those of you touting the so-called tax benefits are not thinking this through. This is not vacant property. There are FOUR existing, well-established businesses here which already pay taxes and employ people.

  16. The Emperor has no clothes

    The local elementary school has 25 children in a class. Pretending that Evanston is "above" having a McDonalds is irresponsible. I would never go to the Howard McDonalds and, honestly, go to the Skokie store before the one at Dempster and Dodge.

    1. Say what?

      Am I missing something here? What do class sizes have to do with McDonalds locations? Do you mean we should have more McDonalds to increase the tax intake? But then you say you refuse to go to the Evanston McDonalds. Or is it just those 2 because they are in high minority neighborhoods? Certainly, both of those stores have lots of customers of all kinds. Just about anyone who has attended ETHS has been to the Dempster location. Are the noisy teens a bit intimidating? The Howard McD's was recently rebuilt and is really nice. We often run into neighbors and schoolmates there. Are you asking for one or two in more affluent areas? I can see that the existing stores may be inconvenient if you live on the northwest side.

  17. McDonalds downtown ?

    What about getting them to move back to their spot at Orrington and Church ?

    They certainly have to do better than the groups the hotel [with city oversite ?] had move into that spot.

    No matter what you think of McDonalds, a lot of people like them, they actually bring in jobs and revenue [and yes taxes] and not empty promises of fancy food for the rich.

  18. Why not use the UBAA’s site for McDonalds?

    It's already a restaurant, and if the drive thru could be on the Harrison/Old Orchard side, there would be less impact on the neighbors.  Oops…that's in Skokie!  But it does have a potentially easier flow for exiting traffic.

    I'd hate to see a bunch of viable businesses (including the Aquarium company) put out of business or forced to move.

    And as a neighbor and resident in Skokie, the reason there are no pedestrians on the NW corner is that there is no sidewalk on that side of the street, and with constant traffic turning right onto Old Orchard Rd, with a green light or barely-a-stop-at-a-red-light, it's just too dangerous.

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