About Us

Downtown Evanston
Downtown Evanston (formerly Evmark), created in 1987, provides marketing and management services to the downtown Evanston, Illinois district and is a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation. The organization is comprised of downtown Evanston commercial/residential property and business owners established to market, maintain, develop, and improve the vitality of the local economy and quality of life. The district that Downtown Evanston is responsible for is the Special Service Area (SSA9), Illinois’ equivalent of a Business Improvement District (BID). Established in 1987, Downtown Evanston is governed by a Board of Directors and works in partnership with the City of Evanston. 

Physical maintenance is a key responsibility, including supervision of sidewalk cleaning, trash collection, litter removal, landscaping maintenance and seasonal plantings. During the holiday season, Downtown Evanston provides festive decorations on downtown streetlights.

The Downtown Evanston staff regularly works with City officials, commission members and citizen groups regarding strategic issues affecting the area. Examples include updating the downtown master plan, streetscape updates and economic development.

In addition, Downtown Evanston coordinates and markets annual events including: Evanston Oktoberfest, a craft beer event, “Thursday Night Live”, a free 10-week summer concert series, Summer Sidewalk Sale, Holiday Tree Lighting, Warm Bevvy Walk and much, much more!  In partnership with Northwestern University, Downtown Evanston organizes “Big Bite Night” a culinary tour of downtown Evanston for NU students.  

Read more about Downtown Evanston in the 2019 Annual Report.

2020 Annual Report 2019 Annual Report 2018 Annual Report 2017 Annual Report Strategic Plan
Since its creation, Downtown Evanston has worked closely with the City of Evanston, downtown property owners, local real estate professionals and other stakeholders to ensure a healthy mix of retail uses. To recruit and retain over 300 ground floor businesses and the many office tenants in downtown’s successful mix, current vacancies are available in the Doing Business section.