Sherman Plaza set for 2006 finish

Demolition of the Sherman Garage could begin as early as the middle of July, allowing the long-delayed Sherman Plaza project to move forward, one of the project’s developer’s said Friday. The garage, at 1616 Sherman Ave., closed May 11, after engineers declared the structure unsafe.

James Klutznick, one of the parnters in development for the Sherman Plaza development, said the project is moving ahead and will be completed sometime in 2006. The project will take up most of the block bordered by Benson and Sherman avenues and Church and Davis streets and will include condominium units, retail space, an athletic club and a new parking garage. Klutznick said he is now working with the city to make sure the site is protected and utilities are shut off so the demolition can take place. He said he is also working on coordinating these issues with neighboring buildings.

The project has received approval from the city’s Planning and Development Committee, said Dennis Marino, Evanston’s director of planning. He said the next thing the project needs at the city level to move forward is a demolition permit.

Jack Kirk, manager of Dr. Wax, a new and used music store at 1615 Sherman Ave., across the street from the garage, said he is pretty sure the garge demolition will happen this summer. But he added there have been problems with the project’s progress.

“I think it’s been handled pretty badly,” Kirk said. “They’ve been talking about doing it forever, and it has been taking forever.”

Kirk said he is glad to see project move forward, but development will continue to cause problems for businesses in the area until a new garage is built at the location.

“There’s already a lack of parking in Evanston,” Kirk said. “People are going to tend to stay away.”