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Office tower gets final OK

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Evanston aldermen voted 8-1 Monday to give final approval to plans for a 232-foot-tall office building on Davis Street just west of Chicago Avenue.

The building, originally given the address 601 Davis, but now identified at the 605 Davis development, would be built on the site of the current Chase Bank drive-thru and an adjoining vacant lot.

Several residents known for their opposition to downtown development projects spoke at public comment during the virtual meeting conducting on the Zoom conferencing platform.

They claimed the public did not have a chance to comment on the project because of the virtual meeting, argued that the city should only be conducting coronavirus-related business at this time and suggested the project was likely to fail because the pandemic would dramatically reduce demand for office space.

The developers say the project will provide work space for about 950 people who will add to the customer base for downtown restaurants and retailers.

The building will offer 39 on-site parking spaces and the developers will lease 150 additional parking spaces at the the city’s Church Street Garage.

Several last-minute additions to the proposal were designed to address concerns about traffic safety in the alley just west of the site

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, cast the only vote against the project saying the zoning variances the developer sought were excessive and that the new bank drive-thru in the buiding would create a dangerous situation.

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