The Ciity Council Monday will be asked to approve a resolution seeking over $58,000 from Smylie Brothers to terminate the firm’s lease on the city’s former recycling center and to approve plans for seeking a new user for the property.

Smylie Brothers signed an agreement with the city in December 2016 to convert the property to a brewery and tap room, but, after completing only some preliminary due diligence work, sought this April to terminate the lease after acquiring a different brewery facility in Chicago.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says that after negotiations with the city Smylie Brothers has agreed to pay three months of rent on the property, totaling $40,927.49 and $7,354.63 in water and electric utility costs.

Bobkiewicz says the firm hasn’t yet agreed to a city demand that it also pay $10,000 toward property and liquor taxes that might have been paid had the brewery been in operation for three months.

City staff will also seek Council approval Monday for a combined request for qualifications and request for proposals process to find a new user for the 13,000 square foot recycling center building, which sites on a 39,000 square foot lot.

The draft of the request document sets no restrictions on uses that might be entertained by the city — other than seeking a “destination-oriented use” that “will offer amenity options for visitors and residents.”

It indicates that the city would consider rezoning the site to match an attractive proposed use.

It leaves open whether the new user would buy or lease the building. And it does not indicate a preference for whether the new user would be a for-profit or not-for-profit entity.

At their June 25 meeting, aldermen were unable to reach agreement on whether they favored a lease, lease-to-purchase or immediate sale arrangement for the property and also disagreed about whether to prefer non-for-profit or for-profit users.

The staff proposal anticipates a roughly six-month timeline from issuing the request for proposals to selecting a new development team for the property.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Evanston Recycle Center On Oakton

    Good Morning, I am confussed as to who actually owns this site. I drive past this facility daily only to see numberous buses and cars parked behind the gate. It looks like a bus terminal. Is this going to be a brewery or is someone renting this site out for a parking lot? Im concerned and would like some answers as to what is happening with this facility and how it will impact the community and my tax paying dollars please, Thank you Julie

    1. Recycling Center

      Hi Julie,

      As the story indicates, the city owns the property, and it’s terminating the brewery’s lease and plans to see a new use for the property.

      The city has used the space in recent years for storing a variety of stuff. I haven’t driven by recently to see what’s there at the moment.

      — Bill

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