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New sprouts of economic vitality draw interest

New business openings planned. One mall sells for a big profit, another goes on the market. Those were among the most popular stories on Evanston Now last month.

Found on Chicago Avenue reopened to diners late in May.

Early signs of economic recovery from the pandemic provided a common theme for many of the stories that proved most popular among Evanston Now readers in May. But crime didn’t take a holiday.

Here’s a rundown of the top 10:

  1. A bakery, a coffee shop and a plant shop opening soon here — May 22 — The pandemic hasn’t killed interest in retail in Evanston, after all.
  2. Church Street Plaza listed for sale — May 14 — Quick exit sought by current owners.
  3. Two prominent downtown restaurants reopen — May 27 — Owners are hoping the diners will return as pandemic restrictions are eased.
  4. Armed robber points gun, takes cell phone — May 7 — Also, five Toyotas lost their catalytic converters.
  5. Evanston plaza sells for nearly 2.5 times last sale price — May 14 — The Evanston Plaza shopping center has been sold for a reported $39 million to A2Z Real Estate Inc. based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
  6. Car stolen while being refueled — May 15 — Vehicle was recovered a short time later when it was involved in an accident, but the subject fled the scene.
  7. Man charged with sexual assault attempt — May 19 — Victim, an NU student, was attacked about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at Clark and Orrington downtown.
  8. Restaurant space to shift from veggies to sweets — May 28 — From salads to sugar in a test of city’s new fast approval process for special uses.
  9. Hilton Orrington reopening planned next month — May 18 — Wednesday, June 9, will be reopening day, convention bureau head says.
  10. Staff: Free beach tokens would blow $1.2M hole in budget — May 21 — But alderman says it’s racist to charge for beach access.

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