Evanston skyline undergoes changes

Zachary Bahar, News Editor

Evanston is changing.

Across the city, new developments have been proposed that could drastically alter the landscape.

“It’s a balancing act,” City council representative Eleanor Revelle said. “We need to look both at the benefits that come out of it, and the appropriateness of the proposals.”

Revelle is referring to the appearance, most notably the height. Many of the proposals set in the heart of the downtown region are for buildings over 30 stories tall, surpassing the current tallest, Chase Tower, by over eight floors. These buildings, many say, pose a significant threat to the character and skyline of the city.

“Evanston isn’t known for its history of its skyline,” freshman Quentin Brown said. “There are only a few buildings downtown with a lot of ‘character,’ and Evanston is a city. We shouldn’t mind a couple tall buildings if they give our city a busy town feeling.”

Here are numerous benefits of the proposals, which according to Revelle would offer significant tax revenue, cheap units, and activity that could stimulate the local economy.

“The economy has really improved and I guess now there is a big demand for more residential units,” Revelle said.

With more people looking for housing in Evanston, such proposals are necessary; however, some have reasons for why such development should be prevented.

“More skyscrapers lead to more population, leads to more cars, less parking, more traffic, beautiful city, better skyline, more tourists, higher rents, higher taxes, more expensive services, same number of jobs, same pay, more loans, more unemployment, crisis,” senior Muhammad Mustafa said.

While these are all legitimate concerns, Revelle believes that there are many benefits and that no matter what happens, there will be due process before any ground is broken.

“I have concerns, but I wouldn’t be opposed from the outset,” Revelle said.

From a government perspective, the biggest benefit of course would be taxes, which both the city and county would be glad to take on in light of the recent Soda Tax Failure, but from the point of view of an Evanstonian the greatest thing is the people.

“The demand for more living space shows that people are interested in living in Evanston,” City Council Member Donald Wilson said. “Even if most don’t get passed, it is remarkable that people want to live here.”