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.

Related stories

Brewery and theater project advance (12/1/16)

Aldermen to get brewery plan tonight (11/28/16)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Brewery
    This shouldn’t come as any big surprise. When council decides to do something….you KNOW it’s going to happen, no matter how much citizens complain. BAD location for this to happen… logic there.

    1. SW Evanston Businesses

      We'll see how popular it is….. I seriously have no idea how Gordon Food Services stays in business over there.  Their parking lot is empty most of the time.  As a matter of fact, instead of building a new lot, beer garden patrons could easily find a space in the GFS lot.  Tumbleweeds are taking up residence there.

      City Council and Evanston Traffic Department – before one of our children is hit by a speeding automobile, please bring additional engineering to Oakton and Dodge to stop the drivers who think it is acceptable to drive 40 and 50 MPH on our side of town.  A lower speed limit is not fixing the problem.  We need actual engineering.  While no one wants to see additional traffic lights or STOP signs, they may well be the only option we have.  Stop allowing drivers to treat our streets like a country highway please. 

  2. What/How much is recycled ?
    Of the materials that are left in the recycle bins, how much and what is really recycled?
    Assuming, and what I see in some bins and esp. bins where I deposit bottles and cans on the street, shows that a lot is not ‘acceptable’, how much of the ‘acceptable’ materials can be recycled. We sometimes hear that volume is so high and prices are so low that even not all cans and [glass] bottles can be sold [given] to processors and that volume is so high for plastic water bottles that most have to be discarded by recyclers.
    There is still a lot of cans and bottles thrown on lawns and gutters, esp. around NU. I can “understand” that teens and others toss alchohol containers so they won’t be caught with them, but soda and plastic bottles ?

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