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EVANSTON-Land acquisition for the proposed Sherman Plaza mixed-use is complete, at a cost of $14.5 million. However, the 250,000-sf retail development with a 196-unit multifamily tower aimed at the senior market is expected to be a $100-million development.

The land purchases were made by the city of Evanston and Sherman Plaza Venture LLC, a partnership that includes James Klutznick, whose family developed the Water Tower Place, Old Orchard and Oakbrook shopping centers.

Demolition of the block bounded by Sherman Avenue, Benson, Church and Davis streets is expected to begin by the beginning of 2002, with a 1,400-car parking garage expected to be completed by November 2002. The retail development is targeted for a spring 2003 completion, with the multifamily tower expected to follow later in the year.

The Downtown redevelopment project has been talked about for years, and appeared to have suffered a serious setback when Hoffman Estates, IL-based Sears Roebuck & Co. dropped out earlier this year. However, the developers now hope to attract a health club as one of the main retail tenants.

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