What is the WestEnd?
The WestEnd Business Association is a non-profit organization that formed to represent the businesses that reside within its designated boundaries. The main goal of the association is to develop, grow, and sustain the working relationships between the area businesses, the business community and the City of Evanston, the business community and its residential neighbors and the business community and the local school districts as well as Northwestern University. The association’s purpose is to create a community of involvement, shared knowledge, and entrepreneurship in order to improve the area infrastructure, aesthetics, and safety that will enhance the functionality of the district and allow for retention and attraction of businesses and employees.
Geographic Area and Representation
The WestEnd is one of the City of Evanston’s main commercial business district and occupies approximately 6% of the cities nearly 8 square miles, a part of sub-area 5. The district Greenwood Street to the north, Dodge Avenue to the east, Washington Street to the south and Hartrey/Pitner Avenue to the west. Industry types include large and small commercial and residential service, manufacturing and distributors, ranging from start-ups to hundred year old 4th generation companies. The diverse set of businesses provides a wide range of goods and services spread over many industry classifications that work with clientele locally, nationally, and internationally.
The Evanston WestEnd is a key contributor to the economy of the City of Evanston. Its small footprint is home to over 60 businesses, including one of Evanston’s top 10 employers, and is responsible for over 17% of the city’s tax base. It is estimated that the district generates over 300 million dollars in revenues and employs in excesses of 600 people generating secondary sales tax revenue to the city in the area of 5 million dollars.
Since its organization, the Evanston WestEnd has steadily reduced the amount of vacant square footage and it is now estimated to be over 85% leased or owner occupied. The WestEnd has recently attracted a number of new businesses including a commercial bakery, a large Federally funded health care facility, a nationally recognized brewery, and a specialty coffee roaster, as well as other new endeavors.
The Evanston WestEnd is proud to host several programs and collaborations that advance the community. Ranging from our most recognized event, Evanston WestEnd Manufacturing Day, to smaller district clean up days, we work to promote and expand our involvement in community. Other events and association highlights include our annual business block party, an annual Christmas party where presents are donated to a local charity, high school and college internship programs and neighborhood beautification programs.