Evanston’s Economic Development Committee voted this week to approve more taxpayer assistance to two private businesses.

Little Beans Cafe, which earlier this month received city support for a property tax break estimated to total $1.1 million over the next dozen years, won committee approval for a $95,000 loan to help cover build-out costs for the planned cafe and play space at 430 Asbury Ave. as well as a grant of up to $30,000 toward facade improvements.

In support of the request, city staff said that the former Osco drugstore is in need of as much as $600,000 in rehab work to make it functional and another $280,000 for equipment for the business.

Little Beans owners Shannon Valko and Rob Spengler are putting up $150,000 equity for the project and have obtained a $653,000 bank loan.

The building has been vacant for nearly a decade since CVS bought the free-standing Osco stores in the Chicago area and closed the store at Oakton and Asbury.

The committee also approved $38,000 for the third and final year of a program to help Now We’re Cookin’ expand its food-service business incubator program.

The aid requests from both businesses still require approval by the full City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Back to the “tax break”

    To reiterate what I have attempted to implore upon Bill during a phone conversation, the supposed 1.1 million in tax refined was a REQUIRMENT by CVS. The company that abandoned the community and the property would not accept any other subtenant without it. It's a shame that this bad press falls on the small family business instead of the corporate entity. 

    1. Walgreens

      If this is true, I will be pulling my perscriptions and other bussiness out of CVS and moving to Walgreens. Walgreens is a Illinois corporation we should support vs. east coast based CVS.

      1. Why blame CVS?

        Shouldn't you have considered instead to blame our city alderpersons for approving this deal?  CVS is just using good business judgement.  Their agents know how far the can go to get the city council to meet their demands on sweetheart tax deals. If I was a CVS stockholder, I would be critical of management for not taking advantage of the lack of backbone the city has on giving away the farm.

        1. Not really…

          Again the city is not giving away the farm. The city passed a resolution that it was in support of a redevelopment of the space and that it was eligible for Cook County incentives as it was abandoned. The decision is up to Cook County Not the city of Evanston. And as I said many times before, the same amount of taxes are going to be collected as they would with The building abandoned so again how is this a bad deal

        2. The Reason for the Blame
          Becuase this community absolutely hates corporate America. Simple as that. Not all companies are evil.

    2. Tax Break

      Evanston Now September 9 2014:

      Evanston aldermen Monday night voted to support a request from the owners of the planned Little Beans Cafe play space that would cut $1.1 million from property taxes on the site over the next 12 years.

      According to this article you asked for the Tax Break not CVS. Your company is getting the Benifit.

      CVS  had another store Four Blocks South of this location they didn't leave Evanston OSCO DID.

      1. again on taxs

        Exactly you just said according to this article. I have been living this day in and day out for the last year trying to negotiate this deal with CVS. The article had half the facts and was written before he knew exactly who was fully benefiting. Of course we are benefiting because we were able to sign the lease.. If you call signing a lease that will get you into a relatively large space in an area of town that needs it that has been abandoned for many years, Okay than sure I'm guilty. However no one I repeat no one could move into the space unles The tax break was filed. It's frustrating now because the blame falls on us when really when it comes down to our bottom line this will not affect us until after 2020. I seriously hope people understand that this tax savings tool is keeping the taxes the exact same as the building has been while vacant. Instead of staying vacant we will add value to the corner and over 30 jobs to the community. If this is a negative then the whole idea of moving to this intersection was a huge mistake. 


        We had to file for the tax incentive because we are the use that is redelepoping the space. This tax incentive is only for new businesses that are putting substantial money to redevelop a blighted space. CVS couldn't just get this as they had already held the lease for many years on the building. I recommend people research what Cook County class 7A is before passing judgment on a headline. 

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