Northlight Theatre’s long-rumored interest in returning to Evanston is scheduled to be publicly discussed at next Monday’s City Council meeting.

The theater group, founded here in 1974, has been based at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie since 1998.

Northlight’s interest was confirmed by the theater’s executive director, Tim Evans, in a story published today by the Chicago Tribune theater critic, Chris Jones.

Plans for the new building Northlight hopes to occupy were first reported by Evanston Now in June.

No funding is yet in place for the proposed project, which is envisioned for a site on the southeast corner of Benson Avenue and Clark Street that is now occupied by one-story commercial buildings.

Second Baptist Church has an option to purchase the site and a developer working with the church has proposed a high-rise office building that would house the theater space on some of its lower floors.

Evans told the Tribune the theater group, which has an annual budget of $3.2 million, would need to launch a major fundraising campaign to come up with what he estimated would be the $4 million to $6 million needed to build out the theater portion of the project.

The overall cost of the building has been estimated at around $37 million.

Related stories

Northlight plans to move back to Evanston (Chicago Tribune 10/15/15)

Downtown arts center cost pegged at $37 million (7/27/15)

No money in place for new theater concept (6/16/15)

Developer considers downtown theater concept (6/15/15)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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