What Should Move in at Church and Darrow?

Evanston aldermen recently approved a motion that allows the city to purchase or acquire through condemnation an 11,000-square-foot property at Church and Darrow, the former site of a gas station.

The city is currently of 1801-05 Church St., the former site of a gas station at Church Street and Darrow Avenue. So we're wondering, what would you like to see move into the empty space? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

Aldermen recently voted to give the city manager authority to negotiate for acquisition of the 11,000-square-foot property, whether as a purchase or through condemnation and eminent domain. Funds for the acquisition would come from the West Evanston tax-increment financing district, according to economic development coordinator Paul Zalmezak. 


The city plans to combine the property with another site it already owns, at 1708-10 Darrow Ave., to create a 16,000-square-foot lot. 

There are some challenges for future developers, since the site is in need of environmental remediation. Four underground storage tanks remain on the property, necessitating at least $75,000 in removal, backfilling and soil remediation costs before the site could be developed. To build a structure other than a parking lot or park space, future developers would also need to construct a foundation, an additional cost of at least $13,000, according to Zalmezak.

Nearby businesses include , the restaurant , a barber shop and a dentist's office. is just down the street. 

Do you have a suggestion for a future Empty in Evanston article? Let us know in the comments section.

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Editor's Note: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information about the foundation. The city has since notified us that it's estimates about the foundation were incorrect, and we have updated the story.

mij June 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
City should take a lon ard look at the clean up costs for this old gas station property. It's been vacant for years. STORAGETANKS COULD BE LEAKING. REMOVAL AND CLEAN UP WILL BE FAR MORE THEN 75,000. WHAT ARE THE CITIES PLANS??????????????????
Lisa L. June 15, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Being a nearby resident, I love the idea of a fresh fruit and vegetable market. Or a speciality brunch restaurant. Another thought I had was for a bike shop (or skateboarding/outdoor rec) since the new bike lane will e brining more biking traffic past the store front.
lucas June 17, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Be a great spot for a Gas Station.
Cindy July 04, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Very nice townhomes with meeting space, recreation in the facilities for owners and shopping at the bottom. It will accommondate the needs of the school as well. Provide incentives for staff and faculty to move there. Cleanup the area. The more rec facilities you put there for the public, the more problems you are going to have. Having Dodge/Dempster area with rec centers and grocery store is an enhancement to the area. We need to cleanup this area. Any cultural facility can be provided as an addition in the Dodge/Dempster Shopping Center.
lucas August 15, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Going to cost lots of TAX Dollars to clean this place up


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