• About


    In 2014, over 60 small businesses located in Southeast Evanston signed a petition in support of investigating the creation of a Special Service Area for the commercial districts that currently make up the Chicago/Dempster business district and the Main Street business district. A Special Service Area (SSA) is defined by Illinois State Statute as a contiguous area within a municipality or county in which special services are provided in addition to those services provided generally throughout the municipality or county. Special services include things like landscaping, advertising, public art, and extra garbage collections. The special services are paid from revenues collected from taxes levied or imposed upon property within that area.

    A steering committee made up of area business and property owners worked with consultant to hold a series of 3 public meetings to seek feedback from the community about the proposal. Based on the feedback by residents, businesses, and property owners, a proposed budget and tax cap were developed and presented to the Evanston City Council. The City Council adopted the ordinances establishing the SSA during the summer of 2015.


     Click on the map at right for a more detailed view of SSA boundaries. 

  • Board Meetings

    The SSA board meets on the first Monday of each month in room 2402 of the Evanston Civic Center (2100 Ridge Road).

  • Committees


    Meets 2nd Monday of the month at CoLab; 9-10:30am unless otherwise noted

    • 10/23/2016, noon @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)
    • 11/9/2015, 9:00 am @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)(Agenda) (Packet)(Minutes)
    • 12/3/2015, 1:00 @ Good's of Evanston (714 Main St.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 12/14/2015 9:00 @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.) CANCELLED due to lack of quorum
    • 1/11/2016 @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)
    • 2/8/2016 @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)
       (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 2/22/2016; 9:00 am @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 3/21/2016
      CANCELLED due to lack of quorum
    • 4/18/2016; 11:00 am @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave) (Agenda)  CANCELLED due to lack of quorum
    • 4/25/2016; 2pm @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)
    • 5/9/2016; 9am @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)
      (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 6/13/2016
    • 7/18/2016; 2pm @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)
      (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 8/8/2016
    • 9/12/2016
    • 10/10/2016
    • 11/14/2016
    • 12/12/2016



    Meets at La Principal at 3pm on various Mondays.

    • 10/20/2015; 9:30 am, @ Brothers K Coffee (500 Main St.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 11/16/2015: 3:00 pm, @ Brothers K Coffee (500 Main St.)(Agenda) (Packet) (Minutes)
    • 12/7/2015; 8:00 am, @ Civic Center Parasol Room (2100 Ridge Ave.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 1/11/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 2/8/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.) (Agenda)(Minutes)
    • 3/21/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.)
      (Agenda) (Packet) (Minutes)
    • 4/18/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.) (Agenda) (Packet) (Minutes)
    • 5/16/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 6/20/2016; 3:00 pm @ Sketchbook Brewing Co. (821 Chicago Ave. ) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 7/25/2016; 9:00am @ La Principal (700 Main St.)
    • 8/22/2016; 3:00 pm @ Sketchbook Brewing Co. (821 Chicago Ave.)
    • 9/19/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.)
    • 10/17/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.)
    • 11/21/2016; 3:00 pm @ La Principal (700 Main St.)



    Marketing & Events

    Meets 3rd Monday of the month at Hip Circle Studio, 9-10:30am

    • 10/20/2016 @ Hip Circle Studio (709 Washington St.) (Agenda)(Minutes)
    • 11/16/2015; 9:00 am @ Hip Circle Studio (709 Washington St.) (Agenda)(Packet)(Minutes)
    • 12/21/2015; 9:00 am @ Hip Circle Studio (709 Washington St.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 1/11/2015; 7:45 am @ Hip Circle Studio (709 Washington St.) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 2/1/2016; 10:30 am @ Civic Center rm 2402
      (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 2/16/2016; 9:00 am @ Hip Circle Studio 
      (Agenda) (minutes)
    • 3/21/2016; 9:00 am @ See Jane Sparkle
      (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 3/25/2016; 9:00 am @ CoLab (900 Chicago Ave.)
      (Agenda) (Packet) (Minutes)
    • 4/18/2016; 10 am @ Civic Center rm. 2402
      (Agenda)(Packet) (Minutes)
    • 5/16/2016; 9am @ See Jane Sparkle
      (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 6/3/2016; 9am @ Civic Center rm 2404
      (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 6/20/2016; 9am @ Hip Circle Studio (709 Washington St. ) (Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 7/18/2016: 9am @ Hip Circle Studio (709 Washington St.)(Agenda) (Minutes)
    • 7/28/2016; 8am @  Collage Cafe (912 Sherman Ave.) (Agenda)
    • 8/15/2016; 9am @ Collage Cafe (912 Sherman Ave.) (Agenda)
    • 9/19/2016; 8:15am @ Evanston Civic Center 2nd Floor (2100 Ridge Ave.) (Agenda)
    • 10/17/2016
    • 11/21/2016
    • 12/19/2016


  • SSA Board Members



    Malik Turley

    Board President

    Hip Circle Studio


    term expires: 2017

    Jessica Oldani

    Vice President

    Oldani Entrepreneurial Law, P.C.


    term expires: 2017

    Eric Young


    Lucky Platter & La Principal


    term expires: 2018

    Jaime Leonardi


    Stumble & Relish


    term expires: 2018

    Alice George

    Placemaking Committee Chair

    Sketchbook Brewing Co.


    term expires: 2018

    Tim Peterson

    Marketing Committee Chair

    Squeezebox Books & Music


    term expires: 2017

    Bob Amado

    Area Landlord


    term expires: 2018

    Sara Jane Abbott

    See Jane Sparkle


    term expires: 2017

    Ellen King

    Hewn Bakery


    term expires: 2017

    Resident Seat



    term expires: 2017

  • Help Wanted

    Open calls for proposals

    Now Hiring: Executive Director

    Main-Dempster Mile’s part-time (30 hours/week) executive director is an emerging leader who helps innovate, manage and grow the organization. The executive director has demonstrated management skills, vision and critical and strategic thinking skills to be able to guide the organization into the next chapter as it seeks to continue to grow and expand the vitality and market position of the Main-Dempster Mile business district in Evanston, IL.

    Job Summary The Main-Dempster Mile Executive Director is responsible for the overall operations and management of the organization. This includes the implementation of the vision, mission and values; maintenance of program and service quality; management of vendors, contractors and resources; strategic planning; and execution of policy and protocol as established by the Board of Directors. Occasional evening and weekend hours are required.

    Primary Duties and Responsibilities The Executive Director is responsible for the following:

    • Management and administration of the organization, including operations, vendors, contractors, RFPs, and finances
    • Oversight, planning, implementation and evaluation of the organization's programs and services, including all committee projects, programs & special events, district enhancement tools and technologies
    • Maintenance of relationships with Board of Directors, volunteers and stakeholders
    • Organizational marketing and communications, including advertising, outreach, social media and public relations
    • Assistance with strategic planning, including business district marketing, promotion, placemaking, governance and best practice research and implementation
    • Conversion of strategic plans into annual goals, objectives and metrics that can be tracked and assessed for completion and accountability
    • Ability to ensure compliance with all local and state rules and regulations, such as the Freedom of Information Act, Open Meetings Act, and all good governance and ethics practices
    • Communicating and advocating on behalf of the organization with City representatives and others, including speaking publicly at community events, City Council meetings, press conferences, etc.
    • Qualifications and Experience

    The ideal candidate for this position will have:

    • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and five or more years’ experience in program management, community development or urban planning
    • Demonstrated leadership and project management skills
    • An ability to think strategically and critically
    • An ability to effectively communicate with a broad spectrum of stakeholders
    • Strong fiscal management skills and understanding of basic financial accounting
    • Experience working with a Board of Directors and/or volunteers
    • The capacity to anticipate future needs in a rapidly growing organization and changing environment
    • Experience navigating city regulations and procedures
    • Experience and skill in making public presentations and speaking publicly

    Compensation Salary will be competitive and based on relevant experience and qualification. Benefits include a healthcare benefits stipend, paid time off, ability to work remotely occasionally and a flexible schedule.

    About Main Dempster Mile The Main-Dempster Mile is a 501(c)(6) organization that encompasses the business districts of Main Street, Dempster Street and Chicago Avenue. The organization administers and manages a Special Service Area (SSA), which is also known as a Business Improvement District. Funds for programs and services are derived from an additional property tax paid by commercial properties within the legal boundary of the SSA. The additional property tax funds are specifically used for economic development, district maintenance, placemaking and marketing within and for the SSA.


    To apply, submit resume and cover letter to the attention of Kimberly Bares, President, PLACE Consulting, at kbares@placeconsulting.net.


    Deadline: September 23, 2016 at noon