Evanston aldermen gave final approval Monday night on an 8-1 vote to leasing the former city recycling center on Oakton Street for a new Smylie Brothers brewery.
Alderman Brian Miller, 9th Ward, who’s running for mayor, cast the only vote against the lease.
Miller said he’s rather have “recreational programming in our busiest park than a brewery.”
But Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said the city reviewed several proposals for new recreational uses since the recycling center closed in 2010.
Wilson said he was on a compmittee that tried to come up with a financially viable proposal to lease the property to a non-profit sports group — but no viable proposal emerged.
“Now we have come up with something that’s financially viable,” Wilson said, and the city will be taking in $160,000 or more a year in rent.
“Would I rather have a baseball facility?” Wilson asked. “Sure — but I don’t get to have that.”
“And,” he added, Smylie Brothers “would be a nice place to go after a game at James Park.”
Alderman Ann Rainey, whose 8th Ward includes the recycling center site, said, “This will be the jewel in the crown of west Evanston.”
She denied claims by some speakers during public comment that it “would corrupt the children at Dawes school.”
Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said the brewery would be two-and-half blocks from the school — roughly the same distance that Lincoln school in her ward is from both a brewery and a distillery.
Brewery and theater project advance (12/1/16)
Aldermen to get brewery plan tonight (11/28/16)