Northwestern Thanked for Its Role in Trader Joe's Deal

Mayor acknowledges not thanking the school during the announcement last week.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl today apologized to for not acknowledging earlier the role the school played in negotiating .

“Northwestern President Schapiro is correct; Northwestern University did play an important role in bringing Trader Joe's to Evanston and should be thanked. I apologize for the omission and I am thanking Northwestern now,” Tisdahl said in a statement at 9 a.m.

Tisdahl was reacting to an article in The Daily Northwestern in which university President Morton Schapiro said he was "surprised" not to have been thanked during last week's announcement about the store.


In the article, Shapiro explained that the university owned the alley just north of the new Trader Joe's spot and that without the school's help, the deal wouldn't have happened.

Patch readers reacted joyously to the news that the popular grocery store would open at 1211 Chicago Ave. early next year. It's moving into the space formerly occupied by Blockbuster.

According to Evanston Now, the city and developer started working with Northwestern because it owns a house just north of the intended Trader Joe's site, which the developer wanted to incorporate in order to have more parking.

The home at 1229 Chicago was acquired by the university more than 90 years ago under a program that allowed homeowners to give the school their property in exchange for the promise of allowing their children to attend Northwestern for free, the article says.

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Kevin O'Connor February 22, 2012 at 04:41 PM
It is beyond irony that Mayor Tisdahl, when she served her 6 year aldermanic tenure representing the 7th ward, and her fellow Council members wanted to have nothing to do with Northwestern. Now that she is Mayor, she and her handpicked successor in the 7th ward Alderman Jane Grover (not announced until after the race, because of many disagreements with 7th ward constituents during her impotent aldermanic tenure) will stop at nothing to help Northwestern now. I have no problem with Northwestern, they're solvent, their investments have done very well for their endowment over the years and they are generally a good neighbor. Why, the COE even gave N. U. campus police the right to write tickets off campus on City owned property & streets because of increasing crime around University neighborhoods. Who will write fat tuition checks to N. U. and send their kids to an unsafe campus environment? I should also add that before Mayor Tisdahl ran for Mayor, I e-mailed her suggestions that she and her fellow aldermen not fight with N.U., but leverage Kellogg's intellectual capital to have an unrestricted study as to why the COE was so mismanaged financially, organizationally etc.. Naturally, the future Mayor thanked me for my suggestions and then used my ideas for her campaign literature. I don't mind plagiarism, but I do mind that Evanston continues to spend money we don't have, taxes and fees have gone way up, while the level of services goes way down. Trader Joe's won't save us.
John Brinkmann February 22, 2012 at 08:21 PM
okay, let me see if I got this straight---to the south we have the 500 block of Hamilton next to Warren's Shell Station, and to the west we've got Chicago Ave with Jewel/Osco plus other stores and real estate, and to the north along Dempster it's all retail space, and to the east it's all houses along Hinman Ave.----so how is it that NU could possibly own the alley???---gotta be a great story behind this one
Emily Stone (Editor) February 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Interesting point, John. Let me see what I can find out.
lucas February 23, 2012 at 12:08 AM
John I wondered that myself? And if they do why?
Jersey Girl February 23, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Read the story on evastonnow - much better and will clear up any confusion - NU actually owns a house that is in the mix. Also, TJ is not moving into the Blockbuster but building on the parking lot and then demonlishing the original Blockbuster and LA Tan building for parking according to this stoyr.
Seymour Taylor February 23, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Even if they do own a house that is in the mix, how do they end uo owning the alley as well?
Emily Stone (Editor) February 23, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Thanks for pointing that out, J. I added some info into the story explaining that better.
Christine Wolf February 23, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Whatever the reasons for NU owning the house/alley, and whatever the reason Mayor Tisdahl overlooked thanking NU, all I can say is, THANK YOU Trader Joe's for coming to Evanston. The excitement is huge and we welcome you with open arms.
jim February 23, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Great won't have to go so far to get "TWO BUCK CHUCK" ;-)
lucas March 20, 2012 at 11:17 PM
jim March 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM
SAw council meeting think Monday. Deal is to costly to Evanston


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