A company controlled by billionaire Jennifer Pritzker has acquired vacant buildings at 1911-17 Church St. in Evanston with plans to turn them into a learning center for youths.
The buildings, across from Evanston Township High School, were formerly home to the Evanston Carpet and Cleaning Co. They've been vacant for a decade or more after being acquired by entities controlled by developer Daniel Cheifetz.
In 2006 Cheifetz unveiled plans for a retail and office complex on the site, but that project never got off the ground.
Pritzker's Project Beacon LLC acquired the buildings and two vacant lots to the east from Cheifetz in September for a total of $422,500, according to county property records.
In a news release provided to the Evanston Review, a Pritzker spokesman said the buildings would serve as "a modern learning center that will encourage local students to explore different creative outlets and activities to express themselves while improving their skills and talents."
An Evanston resident, Pritzker's Tawani Enterprises has been involved in redeveloping a number of properties in Evanston and in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood.
She recently won approval for two bed and breakfast projects near the Evanston lakefront but suffered a setback earlier this year when the City Council rejected her proposal to turn the Harley Clarke mansion on the lakefront into a boutique hotel.
Cheifetz owns the Boocoo Cultural Center a block to the east on Church Street.
Top: 1911-17 Church St. in an image from Google Maps.