Congratulations, Bookends & Beginnings! A proposed 37-story residential tower and theater development in Evanston, Ill., that threatened a host of beloved independent businesses, including the bookstore, has been canceled, the Chicago Tribune reported. The two development companies behind the proposal, along with theater group Northlight Theatre, decided to drop the plan after sustained, organized opposition from residents, who wanted to preserve the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue in downtown Evanston. In addition to the small businesses that would have been forced out, the development would also have eliminated the Varsity Theatre, which dates back to 1926.
Bookends & Beginnings owner Nina Barrett said there was a "very spirited" city Economic Development Committee meeting a few weeks ago at which many of her customers "gave moving testimonials about the role of the bookstore and our neighboring Alley Gallery in their lives," and that, along with a petition signed by more than 3,000 residents, many of them Bookends & Beginnings customers, is "what finally killed it."