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City Council moves RFP for Harley Clarke Mansion to final drafting stage

The+Harley+Clarke+Mansion.+The+city-owned+building+has+been+the+subject+of+controversy+for+nearly+four+years+and+counting.
The Harley Clarke Mansion. The city-owned building has been the subject of controversy for nearly four years and counting.

The Harley Clarke Mansion. The city-owned building has been the subject of controversy for nearly four years and counting.

Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

The Harley Clarke Mansion. The city-owned building has been the subject of controversy for nearly four years and counting.

Julia Esparza, Reporter

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City Council voted unanimously on Monday to move a Request for Proposals for the Harley Clarke Mansion to its final drafting stage.

If the process continues according to plan, the RFP will become available on August 3 to parties interested in submitting a proposal for the long-discussed mansion at 2603 Sheridan Road. Organizations will have until October 9 to submit their proposals.

During Monday’s meeting, Mayor Steve Hagerty voiced concerns about current timeline for the proposal process, saying that a six-month time period would allow for more ideas.

“I continue to believe that if we really want the marketplace to provide ideas to us, it ought to be more than two months,” Hagerty said.

Ald. Robin Rue Simmons (5th) said she understood Hagerty’s concerns but noted that discussions regarding a potential sale of the mansion date back years, making her hesitant to extend the time period even further.

The motion to extend proposal development date by 30 days failed by a vote of 5-3.

Another topic of debate Monday revolved around the benefits and drawbacks of a full-service restaurant on the property. Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) said after speaking to his constituents of color, he wanted to convey their desire to “not restrict the RFP to light-fare” options.

“I can’t tell you how many people I ran into … (who said) ‘I wish we had more choices of eating’ when they’re down there,” Braithwaite said.

The restaurant proposal was introduced for debate but Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) said she strongly opposed the idea and that a full-service restaurant was “inconsistent” with the city’s lakefront master plan.

Fiske said the “trucks and trash and noise” associated with a full-service restaurant would set a bad precedent on the lakefront.

According to the drafted RFP, the city plans to select a non-profit organization to lease the historic building by November 27.

Email: juliainesesparza2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @juliaesparza10

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