Evanston officials say the Evanston Plaza Shopping Center has been placed in the hands of a court-appointed receiver.

Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, whose 2nd Ward includes the site at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, said at Monday’s City Council meeting that city officials have had an initial meeting with tenants at the center in hopes of improving the situation there while the receiver is in control of the property.

The shopping center’s developer, Joseph Freed and Associates, has faced a variety of financial troubles as the recession impacted the commercial real estate market, including with its Block 37 development in Chicago’s Loop.

Evanston Plaza has suffered from high vacancy rates for years, and tenants have complained in meetings with city officials last year of high maintenance fees and other problems with their leases.

The status of the Evanston Plaza development is also scheduled to be discussed at Wednesday night’s meeting of the city’s Economic Development Committee. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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