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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 (SSA4) , 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; “It’s Thursday, Let’s Dance”, a six-week, free, summer dance series; the Evanston Sidewalk Sale and the holidayTree Lighting. In partnership with Northwestern University, Downtown Evanston has created the popular “Big Bite Night” where 2,000 NU students are treated to free sam