New wrinkle in tower plan

[VIDEO] Evanston aldermen will face a new issue when plans for the 35-story tower project on the Fountain Square block go before the full City Council Monday.

The tower’s developers last week told Interim City Manager Rolanda Russell they want to extend the proposed deadline for starting construction on the building to the end of 2013.

The attorney for the developers, Steve Friedland, said in a letter to Russell that the aldermen moved to vote on the project at last Tuesday’s special Planning and Development Committee meeting before the developers could raise the construction delay issue.

During the construction boom, developers typically agreed to start construction within a year after the planned development ordinance approving a project was approved.

But as the economy has cooled several developers have sought extra time to begin construction, and the council last month approved extensions until the summer and fall of 2013 for high-rise projects at 1890 Maple Ave. and 1881 Oak Ave.

At Saturday’s aldermanic forum, 1st Ward Alderman Cheryl Wollin said she’d still have voted for the tower project last week, even if she’d known about the construction delay, and her challenger, Judy Fiske, said it added another reason for her opposition to the project.

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