Mayor Tisdahl & Ald. Rainey Thank Best Buy for Donation
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Alderman Ann Rainey (8th Ward) publically thanked Best Buy on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 for their generous donation of about $10,000 worth of appliances for the City of Evanston’s redevelopment project at 631 Howard St. The media availability was held at Best Buy’s Evanston location at 2301 Howard St.
“I am especially pleased to be thanking the Evanston Best Buy for this wonderful donation – this is the second piece of great news about this store in less than two months,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “First, we were thrilled to learn that this Best Buy was not among the store closures that were announced in April. And now, the same store is donating appliances for our affordable housing units on Howard Street.”
“I would like to thank Best Buy and the Evanston General Manager, Steve Smith. We are incredibly grateful and thankful that Best Buy was able to donate these appliances to the homes on Howard Street,” explained Alderman Ann Rainey (8th Ward), who represents the ward in which the project is located. “If someone were to tell me ten years ago this was going to happen, it would have been my fondest wish and I would have said, ‘but we’ll have to see.’ And here it is today. They said it couldn’t be done, and Howard St. is back.”
Best Buy donated two LG refrigerators, two Fridgidaire gas ranges, two GE over ranges and two Fridgidaire dishwashers to help finish off the rehabilitation project for the two affordable rental units located above the future home of Ward Eight Bar at 629-631 Howard St. next to the Evanston Police Outpost.
The property is part of the city’s efforts to revitalize blighted, underutilized commercial properties within the Howard/Ridge TIF District (created in 2004) and make them contributing properties to the economic development of the area. The city used TIF funds last year to purchase several properties on Howard St. and is using CDBG funds to rehab the properties.
“I thank the Alderman and the Mayor for this opportunity to give this donation. I was very moved about this story and the journey the project has been on and I knew right away that this was a project we could support and help drive growth back on Howard St. since my store is actually located on the same street,” explained Best Buy General Manager Stephen Smith.
"Best Buy’s generosity and participation is making a big difference in our efforts to invest and revitalize Howard Street. This is one of those moments that we as a community can point to and say – this is what Evanston is about – businesses making Evanston a better place to live and helping families and in turn making Evanston an excellent place to live, work, and do business,” added Mayor Tisdahl.
The owners of Ward Eight Bar, Anne Carlson and Cody Modeer, will lease to own the property from the city and live in one of the affordable apartments above the business. They expect to be open for business late summer.
“A theatre will be coming forth in about a year to 727 Howard; we have drawings ready to go out to bid and we just can’t tell you how excited we are. Also, we have a showing of another building for the purpose of having a restaurant and 623 Howard. Soon Howard St. will be a destination for Evanston and Roger's Park residents alike,” concluded Alderman Rainey.