Save The Evanston Civic Center AGAIN

Save The Evanston Civic Center AGAIN Contact information, map and directions, contact form, opening hours, services, ratings, photos, videos and announcements from Save The Evanston Civic Center AGAIN, 2100 Ridge, Evanston, IL.

The Lorraine Morton Civic Center, the seat of Evanston government, is a beautiful historic building and offers an exciting opportunity for redesign and reuse for the public and is much more economical than moving to downtown Evanston w/o parking.

05/26/2024

A happy little customer who just picked up something special from ! ❤️

https://evanstonroundtable.com/2024/02/23/council-15-year-lease-for-city-offices-downtown-9090-davis/“Ticking Time Bomb”...
02/23/2024

https://evanstonroundtable.com/2024/02/23/council-15-year-lease-for-city-offices-downtown-9090-davis/
“Ticking Time Bomb”
The Mayor has it right (but not about the solid brick and limestone building at 2100 Ridge Ave)… “The Time Bomb” is going to be the political repercussions of this kind of reckless spending, with no community committee oversight and solely relying on “Consultants” and Staff whom I believe, have an agenda not in harmony with the residents and taxpayers of the City of Evanston.

A 15-year lease… despite ample evidence that 10 story buildings in Evanston can be built in approx. 2… and in a market with diminishing occupancy in the Midwest. How can this Council have an honest conversation with the community about all the possible options and possibilities for our Civic Center with such a lease? This was a gift to the 909 building owners who purchased the building for less money (than this lease) in 2022… Not surprising since I understand “Economic Development Manager”, Paul Zalmezak already has an office there.

Eight days ago, I had an appointment with DMV in the Civic Center on the 4th floor, on my out, I walked the halls asking people who worked there how they felt about the building… 5 out of 6 said they like working there and hoped the community will renovate and keep the 7-acre campus where they currently work.

This is a travesty of sound financial policy and civic inclusion and transparency in our City Government… The cost of the 15-year lease and move alone would pay for the renovation… instead, methinks it’s a “Fire Sale” to benefit some friendly developer in lieu of actually honoring the pledge of past Councils and overwhelming referendum results favoring Stay & Fix/Finish it right.

It's Time for an Independent Inspector General.
Your Friend of the Civic Center, Brian G. Becharas

The building at 909 Davis St. is set to become the new home of city offices. In a 3-5 vote Thursday night, the Evanston City Council rejected a

This just published in the Evanston RoundTable!
02/15/2024

This just published in the Evanston RoundTable!

I am a longtime Evanston native and CEO of Cresa, a commercial real estate services company, and I strongly oppose the City of Evanston’s consideration of

02/08/2024

Former mayor Jay Lytle:

As mayor of Evanston when we bought the Civic Center, I asked our architect Ed Noonan, of Ed Noonan and Associates, “Does this building have good bones”? His answer was simply “absolutely.” His firm had done a lot of rehab of buildings. I ask the current City Council not to take a long-term lease and to rehab the building at much lower costs.

In 2007, the City Council also wanted to move out of the Civic Center. Recognizing the historical and cultural value of the building, the beauty of the seven-acre campus and, above all, the usefulness of this great building as our seat of government, I supported the effort to save the Civic Center.

The question of whether to stay or go was put to the entire community in a referendum in the November 2007 election. The result: 83% of the voters directed our elected officials to stay in the building. With such an overwhelming statement from residents, it’s amazing to me that we are back dealing with the same question again. Does anyone think the sentiment of the community has changed?

I am also concerned with the sudden hurry to vacate now. On an issue of this importance, I would have thought that the council would be open to community input before making the decision to vacate the building. It seems that this decision to leave was brought to a vote with only one public council meeting.

As a former bank executive, I think a move downtown when there does not seem to be any reason to leave makes no financial sense for Evanston. Moving our seat of government from living rent-free to committing our taxpayers to a huge rent plus moving expenses, loss of tax revenue and additional costs to park makes no sense.

I have reviewed hundreds of leases, and I found the appraisal lacking. For example, $560 per square foot is ridiculously high to rehab this building. I won’t go into all the issues, but wonder why they even put in an R5 estimate. Does anyone in the community want more density and less open space in that area?

We need responsible, informed and creative thinking on how to save and spend less taxpayer monies and on how to best preserve our community treasures. Our elected officials have a responsibility to act in our best interests. Committing our city to a 15-year lease for our Civic Center in an office building is contrary to all that. Evanstonians expect to be informed and consulted and their input should matter.

Please urge your council member, Mayor Daniel Biss and the city manager to reconsider this lease and, with broad public input, make a plan that works for the citizens of Evanston.

01/25/2024

FELLOW CITIZENS your elected representatives (save 2) just voted to obligate the entire community to a 15 year + $30 Million lease agreement (that will cost $9 Mil for early release). The agreement to hire an outside firm was done behind closed doors without a vote and any discussion with the people who are paying for it! (That would be you and me).
To compound the injury the Staff proponents and others are being entirely disingenuous by now saying that there will community engagement to come up with the final solution. Shall we renovate, shall we build new, etc... How on earth can we do that with 15 year +$30 contract that is close to the cost of renovating and re-imagining the current location @ 2100 Ridge. It appears that the fix is in and somebody's "best friend" developer is going to scoop up what might be the only 7 acre residential parcel in town! Ask yourselves why the hurry to obligate residents and taxpayers to more than $100 Mil boondoggle! Especially when the real urgency is the Police and Fire HQ re-do! PROTEST VIGOROUSLY!
Your friend, Citizen Brian

Fellow Citizens... Please call or write to your Alder People and demand transparency!
12/22/2023

Fellow Citizens... Please call or write to your Alder People and demand transparency!

I want to take a moment to thank the Evanston RoundTable for reporting on Fourth Ward Council Member Nieuwsma’s Ward meeting comments "No more Band-Aids for Civic Center and police/fire HQ in ’24" on Dec. 6th. Council Member Nieuwsma was also quoted in Evanston Now : “We’ll be making some ve...

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Although there is discussion every decade ab...
08/31/2023

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Although there is discussion every decade about the cost of maintaining such an edifice versus building a new, more efficient one, many (including me) are happy to see this beautiful old building still standing and well used.

Now that the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center is open to the public once again, I feel compelled to call attention to some public artworks by women there

08/01/2023

Civic Center, 2100 Ridge. No one in Evanston is clamoring to abandon the CC. Staff is driving this and has been for over 30 years.
The question was put to voters in 2007 who overwhelmingly agreed that the City should stay there.
More room than staff needs? Rent out space to a daycare, add a coffee shop/cafeteria, maybe a workout room.

Move the Police Dept HQ there.
Make better use of dedicated parkland with events. Rent it out.
We don't need to spend $70 million to build a Civic Center in the downtown, the most expensive land here and the highest tax paying. A Civic Center would take that land off the tax roll.

07/25/2023

Civic Center, 2100 Ridge. No one in Evanston is clamoring to abandon the CC. Staff is driving this and has been for over 30 years.
The question was put to voters in 2007 who overwhelmingly agreed that the City should stay there.
More room than staff needs? Rent out space to a daycare, add a cafeteria, work out room.
Move the Police Dept HQ there.
Make better use of dedicated parkland. We don't need to spend $70 million to build a Civic Center in the downtown, the most expensive land here.

02/11/2023

CANDIDATE FORUM, SAT 2/11, 9:30-11:00 AM
The Community Alliance for Better Government is hosting an online public forum for candidates for the 2nd and 9th ward city council spots. Forum questions will be asked from groups often marginalized in city politics and will focus on issues of social and racial equity. If you have questions to submit, please email [email protected]

Saturday Feb. 11th, 9:30 am
To join click bit.ly/CABGForum

Darlene Cannon for 2nd Ward JuanGeracaris Krissie Irreverent Harris , Pat Gregory, Elect Kathelyn Hayes

12/07/2022

Our annual meeting and holiday gathering is next Saturday December 10th! Please join us for food, fun, and furious political discourse.

09/16/2022

Our public asset, the Lorraine Morton Civic Center, can and should become a masterpiece of public engagement. It could also generate revenue. The city is talking about moving & selling the Civic Center, and then moving to a downtown space where everyone must pay for parking.
HOWEVER, the city has not explored or engaged the public in any discussions about innovative ways of how to reuse the property, maybe bringing police headquarters or renting space out to local non-profits, adding a day care center, a small cafe. How about a bandstand in the park for concerts?

"However, at approximately 7.0 acres, the Civic Center site may not be large enough to house the volume of retailsquare ...
09/10/2022

"However, at approximately 7.0 acres, the Civic Center site may not be large enough to house the volume of retail
square footage that would make these types of retailers viable, such as a Best Buy, Home Depot, or Lowe’s Home-
Improvement. The site is also not highway adjacent, which big box retailers tend to prefer as highway adjacency
provides maximum accessibility and visibility for their businesses. Finally, the Civic Center site is located in a
primarily residential area of Evanston, so a large retailer, and the traffic it would bring, would likely not be the
most desired use of the site by the community. Rather, smaller site- and neighborhood-focused retailers, such as
a small hardware store or electronics store, may find success in a larger, mixed-use project given the lack of competition in the trade area.
https://www.cityofevanston.org/home/showpublisheddocument/68661/637752493903830000

Adaptive reuse- we can use the space we need, bring in other city services have a vision to create a model of community ...
07/28/2022

Adaptive reuse- we can use the space we need, bring in other city services have a vision to create a model of community engagement.

Don't sell -adaptive reuse open up the space inside and create -the space we need
07/28/2022

Don't sell -adaptive reuse open up the space inside and create -the space we need

07/28/2022
07/27/2022

Urbana Administrator Pushes to Exempt City from Anti-Discrimination Laws

Save our tax dollars - stay in the current Civic Center at 2100 Ridge Ave. & get on board with being green. -"ith the co...
07/23/2022

Save our tax dollars - stay in the current Civic Center at 2100 Ridge Ave. & get on board with being green. -"ith the cost of construction increasing year after year, many municipalities are taking another look at these community eyesores through an adaptive reuse lens and transforming them into state-of-the-art municipal or public safety facilities at a fraction of the cost of building new. Below are strategies, insights, and suggestions to consider when undertaking an adaptive reuse project." https://www.americancityandcounty.com/2022/04/06/adaptive-reuse-and-municipal-facilities-strengthening-mutual-trust/

Every community has its share of underutilized buildings—empty warehouses, shuttered schools, abandoned grocery stores and retail strip malls, and aging postal facilities—that have reached the end of their useful lives. Many pose safety concerns, while others often become magnets for crime. With...

07/23/2022

Carol Mitten, who is currently the city administrator for Urbana, Ill., a job she has held for four years, was announced Wednesday, July 20, as the latest

07/20/2022

Press Release: City to Host City Manager Candidate Town Hall on July 28 City of Evanston sent this bulletin at 07/20/2022 12:08 PM CDT Wednesday, July 20, 2022 | View in browser City to Host City Manager Candidate Town Hall on July 28 EVANSTON, IL - Evanston's City Council has narrowed the city mana...

The discussion surrounding the use 2100 RIdge-the Lorraine Morton Civic Center must be open and public centered. THe cit...
07/15/2022

The discussion surrounding the use 2100 RIdge-the Lorraine Morton Civic Center must be open and public centered. THe city has deferred maintenance and ha been creating a negative narrative regarding the building and they neglected it but itt is a great building in a prime location with strong bones. The efforts to have non binding referendum on the ballot in November is to promote discussion and transparency in teh process

Emily Guthrie and John Kennedy show petitions they and others are circulating that would ask if Evanston should maintain the Lorraine Morton Civic Center.

07/14/2022
"The key to downtown L.A.’s comeback? An emphasis on entertainment and live venues, rather than office space and skyscra...
07/13/2022

"The key to downtown L.A.’s comeback? An emphasis on entertainment and live venues, rather than office space and skyscrapers. In the words of David Shulman, a real estate analyst interviewed by Forbes, “Nightlife and streetscapes trump fluorescent light and cubicles.”

Downtowns across the United States are booming. What’s behind the resurgence? Probably some of the same factors that have contributed to the growth of these...

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2100 Ridge
Evanston, IL
60201

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