City seeks new use for recycling center

Joe, Dylan and Vivian Blanchard, Bob Grover, Malik Turley and Dana Pearl turned out to push for bowling at the recycling center.

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 Rainey.

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.




NO taxpayer money for a bowling alley!

So now we know Ann wants a bowling alley.  Who set up this meeting?  Qualified developers or someone who will do a bowling alley and have us give them a good deal, such as loans, grants and tax breaks!

How many lanes, Ann?  The space look very small for a real bowling alley. So once again another peckish pig patio deal or the famous wine and cheese bar where the city built the operator an apartment above the bar!

How about some real economic development in the 8th ward, the rest of us in town are sick of this mess, Ann has created!


The property looks absolutely ideal for a biker bar or roadhouse, and would attract plenty of riders from far flung areas in the summer.

How about a gun range

Would Ann favor a gun range at this location?  It is zoned for industrial use, is not near a school or homes, and is very easy to get to from Chicago and our neighbor northern suburbs.  Maybe Home Depot could even start selling guns & ammo with a quick walk accross Oakton to begin target practice!

Not near a school?

Isn't this literally adjacent to the same park as Dawes Elementary School?

So alderperson Grover wants a Bowling Alley too?

So Alderperson Grover was at the this event.  It appears four of those pictured in the photo are members of her family. The general public was not invited.  I guess the Grover- Blanchard family must like to bowl?

One wonders what deal is coming down here.  Jane and Ann are both on the Harley Clarke committee, maybe their just becoming good friends. Maybe Jane could learn how to represent her ward from Ann given she done next to nothing in the 7th ward since she has been alderperson.

Build on James Park

Does the Alderperson pland on offering park of James for the bolwling Alley idea? HAve any of the people thinking bowling Alley is a wonderful idea been to Bowling Allies in near by burbs?

A 13000 sq foot building is a bit small for a bowling alley,bar and resturant.

This info was found on net:You will need about 1,000 to 1200 square foot for each lane . A 20 lane center will require 20,000 to 24,000 square feet. The actual size will vary depending upon the kind of other services you will provide. For example, restaurant food service area, cocktail lounge area, meeting rooms, game rooms, etc.

Why not a Drive-In Theatre in the Park?

It's just as plausible.  Big outdoor screen, families could ride bikes or walk if they wanted and sit on the grass to watch movies outdoors.  I miss the old Chicago outdoor movies that were held in Lincoln Park during the summer.  

I'd even go for a bowling alley if they could attract a place like Alamo Drafthouse to open something.

Let's Bowl

I would love a bowling alley in this town!  and if you want an outdoor movie theater, go for that too.  James is bumping enough, you probably wouldn't even need to to any landscaping.

If not too Pedestrian for Wilmette then...

Apparently people in Wilmette don't look down on their Bowling Alley.  It would sure be something nice for Evanston.

While maybe a little expensive [certainly less than Ice Hockey] it would provide a good outlet for teens and a lot of fun for college students and adults.

My home town had bowling nights from mid-night to 6 AM for I think under $10.

Students have often proposed an Alley for NU but I don't think it got far.

Surely they can find a location closer to the downtown.  No sense to isolate it to James Park like the city did the Senior Center.

Why not a respectable space for the animal shelter?

Why doesn't the city use the land and building for an updated animal shelter?  The one currently in use is Dickensian - tiny cages for cats, animals shown to adopters in the bathrooms , - it really is shameful. 

Bowling Alley, Gangs (maybe) or EVANSTONIA

The last I heard on the bowling alley topic was from my alderman who said our city government didn't favor the idea of a bowling alley (in the Dempster/Dodge shopping center mind you because we thought it would be a great venue) because they attract gangs.  With our close proximity to Chicago, the shooting that occurred at Howard/Dodge over this past weekend (2nd shooting at that location in a year) and the police chase through my neighborhood last night, I'm not exactly sure I am in favor of anything that might attract gangs and I would definitely like to have a conversation about THAT possibility before we go ahead with this idea.  Also, another poster is correct... this location is very small to house a bowling alley and I am not in favor of cutting out space in our local park so that investors could have a larger building.  As a matter of fact, I like the poster who is asking for outdoor movies.  I think this park would be a great venue for a Ravinia-type entertainment venue.  Why not give Ravinia some competition with EVANSTONIA?  Roll out some snow fence, rent a stage and sound system, hire some big-name talent and watch the tickets sell themselves to people who want to sit on the lawn, eat cheese and drink wine.  We could use the park field house AND the recycling center as venues to sell food and beverages.  Food and beverage contracts could be bid out to local Evanston restaurants/breweries.  It would be great advertising for them to participate.  What a way to think outside of the box, think big and promote the hometown!  Let's stop messing around with the little ideas and GO BIG!

Or, we could give this building to the animal shelter (because another poster is right on that score too - their current building is not adequate and an embarrassment to our community - we should care more!).   Or hey, maybe do both - Evanstonia and upgrade the animal shelter to the recycling center.  Use the current field house and the old animal shelter for the Evanstonia concept.

How Large [Lanes] for a Bowling Alley ?

My count from the picture of the Wilmette Bowling Alley is ten lanes.  I've never been inside but building does not look very large.

My home town was small and we had ten lanes. Almost every night bowling leagues were able to fill most of those lanes.  During the day there were always several lanes used by adults and for at least a few hours several days a week by high school students for whom it counted as PE [you may argue that it does not use that much energy to count as PE, but was fun].

There was always a church or some group traveling 20 miles to a much larger alley for all night bowling.  As I recall the alley at Clark and Howard was at least 25 lanes and they were filled evenings.

Recreation [year round, not weather dependent] for children, adults, a safe place [outside of movies I've never heard of one that was not], sure to bring in much needed revenue, relatively in-expensive ?  What not to like.  But then the Council is usually not hot for anything that brings in revenue unless it is a bar or iffy restaurant.  

Recycling Center Reuse Request

Is the City  ready to allow the current Animal Shelter yo be  part of Deal to developer? Or haven't they thought that far? If they are willing to let the shelter go where will the new one be? Or do they plan  on getting rid of shelter altogether? And are keeping mum.

As I posted above one bowling lane takes between 1000 and 1200 feet. A stand alone bowling alley won't be a profitable venture. When you add Bar and resturant and parking you need lots and lots of more space

'city seeks new us for recycling center'

what do i not understand about the actual state of affairs ? 

And which channels are you all looking at. ? 

With things as they are locally, internationally, and environmentally, ' the public' needs to become more involved in information / solution, ( cause / effect ), decision making. Best use for this space would be an open solution demonstration facility that describes the current state of things 'as they are', and provides both groups and individuals a forum in which to offer solutions. The space is large enough for a stage, podium, and seeting arena . Think public discourse. Public forum. comentary. Satire. Theater. come on evanston, give the non-political citizens a venue for expression. Show some guts. support freedom of expression by giving the north chicago, evanston, north shore communities a place to invent a better future than the one we are looking at now.

New Recycling center use

Perhaps we could find a developeer to convert the Old Recycling Center into a number of AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS. The building is 13000 sq ft. could probably get 5 to 10 units depending on size of units. Many one bedroom units are well under 1000 sq feet.

Affordable Housing for Everyone

Perhaps if the Council would start pushing smaller homes for everyone not just the 'usual' affordable housing clients, we would be better off. 

Houses of less than 400 sf are becoming more interesting for even young middle class people.  Think how many people's needs would  be satisfied if the Mansion was replaced by a large number of these homes.  Also where existing houses are beyond salvage and others shattered in neighborhoods other than those usually thought of---e.g. on Orrington, west of Greenbay and north of McCormick, east of Chicago Ave. from South Blvd. northward.

Think what this would do for the enviornment also.

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