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Pritzker, 3 others interested in city-owned mansion

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Evanston's Human Services Committee tonight is scheduled to vote on whether to seek formal requests for proposals for the sale of the city-owned Harley Clarke mansion on the lakefront.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, in a memo to aldermen, says four parties submitted statements of interest in the property from more than 10 people who toured the building in response to a request for interest the city issued in May.

They are:

  • Col. James Pritzker, who last year received city approval to turn a home at 300 Church St. into a bed and breakfast. Pritzker proposes using the mansion as a boutique hotel and event center.
  • Carrie King of 508 Barton Ave., who proposes using it as an event center, hotel or bed and breakfast.
  • Tom Omundson of 900 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago, who proposes using it as an inn.
  • Sarah Harding of 1024 Judson Ave., who proposes using the property as the home for a planned Montessori High School called The Beacon Academy.

Bobkiewicz is proposing that the aldermen set a deadline of Sept. 28 for submission of the proposals.

The city is considering selling or leasing the mansion building itself, but retaining ownership of the underlying property and surrounding land.

The mansion is now leased the the Evanston Art Center, which is looking for new quarters in the city.

The property is believed to have at least several hundred thousand dollars worth of deferred maintenance issues, and the aldermen have concluded the city doesn't have the resources to pay for the work.

Related document

Human Service Committee meeting packet

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