Evanston city officials are looking for a commercial developer to come up with a new use for the shuttered recycling center at 2222 Oakton St., and a restaurant with an attached bowling alley is one popular idea for the space.
Officials -- and some bowling alley supporters -- gathered at the recycling center this afternoon to show off the space and imagine what a new owner might might do with the nearly one acre property located at the edge of James Park.
The recycling center building is now used mostly to store trash carts.
The property includes a 13,000 square foot steel-framed, concrete block building formerly used to sort recyclable material and a smaller office and restroom space.
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said a bowling alley would probably be only an accessory use at what would mainly be a restaurant or brewery or similar dining spot with some additional entertainment options. She mentioned The Alley in Highwood as the sort of concept that might work here.
Economic Development Division Manager Johanna Nyden said the city is now looking to identify qualified developers who could handle the large scale redevelopment project and only then will seek formal proposals from developers who appear to be well qualified.
The recycling center site.
Developers have a deadline of May 15 to submit their qualifications. Favored developers will then be expected to submit formal proposals for the site by August.