Committee recommends hiring firm to study reviving business districts

Evanston officials are recommending a Philadelphia urban design agency for a comprehensive review of the city’s small business districts, suggesting approaches the city can realign itself in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Members of the city’s Economic Advancement Committee suggested April 27 that the city enter into a $245,000 agreement with Interface Studio to offer the analyze, which would incorporate extensive community participation.

The review would include downtown as very well as the city’s other business districts.

Officers have suggested that 50 % of the challenge be paid for out of federal American Restoration System Act cash and the other 50 percent from revenues generated by 5 town tax increment finance districts.

The proposal will subsequent go to the Metropolis Council for consideration.

Closing sign at the downtown LA Health and fitness storefront. Credit rating: Bob Seidenberg

Evanston small business districts confront unusual pressures, said Paul Zalmezak, the city’s Economic Improvement Supervisor, in a memo and presentation supporting the research.

“Being situated a lot less than a few miles from Outdated Orchard, one particular of the country’s leading regional procuring centers, and thirty minutes north of Chicago’s world renowned shopping and enjoyment places Evanston at a competitive downside,” wrote Zalmezak.

“Online buying, parking challenges (genuine and perceived), high priced rents, home taxes and the uncertainty of the pandemic have designed confusion among stores, small corporations and business enterprise district assistance suppliers potentially in no way knowledgeable in Evanston in spite of its several economic evolutions.”