The Plan Commission this evening voted 4-1 to reject the latest proposal for redeveloping the Evanston Theater site on Central Street for a mixed-use condominium development.

Commissioners said they actually rather liked the developers’ plan for a four-story project on the site, but they preferred an earlier five-story plan that would have preserved a historic house on the site. The commissioners said they also believed the first plan for the property at 1700-1722 Central St. was more architecturally distinctive.

The Central Place Residences developers had revised their original five-story plan in response to complaints from neighbors that it was too tall for the area.

Commissioners said the developers had made further improvements in the design of the project since the commission’s last meeting on Nov. 10.

The developers also agreed that they would absorb the cost of putting utilities in the alley behind the site underground to eliminate “pinch points” where two cars would be unable to pass each other.

The proposal now goes Dec. 11 to the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee, which is free to make its own decision about the project.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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