Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL

home : city news : city news June 25, 2016

11/26/2013 1:31:00 PM
Council Defeats Request for Time Extension at 708 Church St.
By Mary Helt Gavin

After much debate on precedent, policy and procedure, aldermen voted on Nov. 25 not to grant an extension of time to Focus Development for its project at 708 Church St. In 2009, City Council approved a three-year extension of the projects, which at that time included ground-floor retail, four flours of parking and more than 200 condominium residences above that. The height of the 35-story building was proposed at 385 feet.

Focus Development had requested a three-year extension, and that was debated at the Planning and Development Committee meeting then forwarded to City Council without a recommendation. During the Planning and Development Committee meeting, Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, closely and persistently questioned both Tim Anderson, head of Focus Development, and Focus’ attorney, David Reifman of DLA Piper.

Ald. Wilson also elicited the information that Focus neither owned the property nor had a contract for it. Neither would disclose the owner of the property, other than saying it was owned by a trust with 11 beneficiaries, none of whom is Mr. Anderson or Focus development.

Mr. Reifman said such an arrangement was “not atypical” and that, once the extension was granted, Focus planned to become the contract purchaser of the property.

At the Council meeting, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said her ruling was that a supermajority – that is, six votes – would be needed to approve the extension of time.

Although her ruling was backed somewhat by Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar, a motion led by Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, defeated the Mayor’s ruling and the proceedings went forward with the requirement of only a simple majority to approve the extension of time.

Ald. Rainey, a vocal supporter of the project, then modified the request for the extension of time to one year.

The motion for an extension of time was defeated 5-4, with Aldermen Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, Jane Grover, 7th Ward and Ald. Wilson voting against the extension of time and Aldermen Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward and Ald. Rainey voting for the extension.  


Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable welcomes your comments. We will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsRestaurantsHow To
Copyright 2008-15 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved
Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved