Poll: Should Evanston Spend $2 Million For Trader Joe’s Lot?

The city council voted Monday to buy two lots on Chicago Avenue and lease them to the upscale supermarket chain for parking. Good or bad? We want to know what you think.

A deal to bring Trader Joe’s to Evanston moved forward Monday when the city council voted to spend $2.05 million for two properties adjacent to the store’s planned location on Chicago Avenue. 

According to Triblocal Evanston, aldermen voted to spend $2.05 million from the city’s parking fund to purchase the two properties just north of 1211 Chicago Ave., where Trader Joe’s plans to open next year.  The city plans to build an 18,000-square foot, 78-space parking lot on the site, and hopes to generate enough revenue in taxes from the store to offset the purchase price within five years, Triblocal reports


Trader Joe’s is expected to open in the spring of 2013, just up the street from Jewel-Osco and Whole Foods Evanston South—a location that has drawn some criticism.   

Fourth Ward alderman Don Wilson, who was the only member of the council to vote against the entire project, cited some concerns about being fair to other businesses as the justification for his opposition, according to Triblocal.

“It probably makes sense from a return on investment perspective,” he told Triblocal. “But the tougher point is, how do you look the other business in the eye? You’ve got somebody next door—you didn’t buy their parking for them.”

Was this a good move by the city council? Vote in our poll and share your opinion in the comments.

Dileep Gangolli May 13, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Well please remember that not all the Alderman are the same. I have been very happy with our choice here in the 4th Ward. Ald. Wilson is pragmatic and gives a good deal of thought to his votes. I tend to agree with them by and large. But he is often in the minority.
millie May 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Dileep I've listen to your Alderman Wilson's s comments at meetings a few times. Usually agree with them. Wish I could vote for him. Seems to many of the nine alderman have no opinions on anything or just don't want to go against the flow
Richard Schulte May 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Ms. Bos, no need to go to Florida to get skin cancer-I got skin cancer in Evanston-my surgery to remove the cancer is scheduled on Thursday of this week. Not everybody goes to Florida to surf or attend Tea Party rallies. Some migrate to Florida for the 0 percent state income tax and the 7.5 percent sales tax, not to mention the wonderful people who live here and the perfect roads. I migrated to Florida to get away from the kooks who have taken over Evanston and, of course, Democrats. Not only are the people who live here nicer than the people who live in Evanston, the Winn-Dixie grocery stores are beautiful and well-lit and the food prices are much lower. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the fresh fish at prices far less than those of the fish in Evanston and the roadside farmstands selling produce right off of the farms. I have a life, but I feel obligated as a patriotic American to help "free" the people who live in the People's Republic of Evanston-it's called "giving back". I won't rest until the Iron Curtain that has descended on Crook County is removed. Oh yeah, there is no Trader Joe's here. Who needs Trader Joe's? P.S. Last Wednesday morning, the Blue Angels flew over me in tight formation as I was driving near the Naval Air Station. I didn't even let the US Navy know I was in town, but somehow they knew-now that's the way to welcome newcomers to town. I don't recall being welcomed to town when I moved to Evanston in 1983.
Richard Schulte May 14, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Ms. Bos, I see you have adopted the conservative point of view-thumbs up. Thanks for agreeing with my post on this thread on May 10th.
MMGlaser July 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I am thrilled TJ's is coming---just wish it had happened years ago. They have the most interesting variety of food, at very good prices, AND they actually care about the quality of the ingredients. Let me mention, too, that their employees are the friendliest (seemingly happiest) and their return policies favor the customer. I find them singular among affordable stores. How Whole Foods ever got to have two stores within a mile is beyond me---they are so expensive, very corporate in nature, and pretty much ate up the healthy alternative stores on the low end of the food chain. I do wonder what will happen to JD Mills, which has been staying afloat despite all the competition up the street.


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