sports-bubble-site

Evanston’s Plan Commission Wednesday night approved a zoning change that would clear the way for a commercial indoor sports practice facility behind the GFS Marketplace store on Oakton Street.

Top: A Google Maps aerial view looking south from Oakton Street, with the proposed sports center site highlighted in blue. Click for larger view.

Evanston’s Plan Commission Wednesday night approved a zoning change that would clear the way for a commercial indoor sports practice facility behind the GFS Marketplace store on Oakton Street.

The site is just down the street from the city’s former recycling center which several non-profit sports groups unsuccessfully negotiated with the city last year to convert to a similar use.

The proposed change to the city’s zoning code, which still requires City Council approval, would make indoor recreation facilities a permitted special use in I2 industrial zones.

The would-be developers of the site are Randall Mayne of 321 Lake St. and William Kindra of 1728 N. Manor Ave. in Chicago.

Mayne is a member of Evanston’s Parks and Recreation Board and a director of Evanston Youth Lacrosse.

The two say they are in good-faith negotiations with the current owner of the parcel to acquire it, contingent on approval of the zoning change.

They plan to build a “bubble” facility — which Zoning Manager Dennis Marino described as a fabric building with a metal frame — that would offer multiple indoor sports fields with facilities for soccer, lacrosse and baseball that could be rented out to athletic groups for practices and games.

A second recreation project is in the works which also needs the the proposed zoning change.

The Evanston Soccer Association wants to use an existing warehouse-style building in an I2 zoning district on Dempster Street between Dodge and Hartrey avenues for practices and matches.

Related document

Plan Commission meeting packet (.pdf)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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4 Comments

  1. The site has virtually no

    The site has virtually no public transportation.  That seems perfect for making sure the site is available only to those who have cars and/or parents who will drive their children there.

      1. Bike service

        It is also got great access via bike using the Sculpture Park trails and/or Dodge to Oakton.

    1. Here we go again

      Here we go with another liberal "economic injustice" argument, in this case because the proposed facility isn't housed next to mass transit.  It never ends in Evanston!  It is truly remarkable how this mindset has infested Evanston.  We have watched countless neighbors leave Evanston for neighboring (northerly) communities for that very reason; put in pragmatic terms, these "departures" to the north destabilize neighborhoods AND move the highest tax-paying citizens to neighboring communities, economically harming Evanston.  Stated for simple minds, liberal agendas are economically harming Evanston, a community that can ill afford to have its biggest contributors to its tax base (and biggest spenders with local businesses) bolt.  

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