Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz tonight will urge aldermen to recycle the city’s former recycling center on Oakton Street for commercial development.
Competing proposals for the site include a new location for the city’s salt dome or reuse of the building for a indoor sports facility for youth soccuer and baseball programs.
The site at the edge of James Park is across the street from the Home Depot and adjacent to property being developed by Gordon Food Service.
Bobkiewicz says new commercial development would bring needed tax revenue to the city and jobs for residents.
He says the city needs additional economic activity but has very few potential sites for new retail development.
Top: A diagram from a staff report showing possible commercial redevelopment of the recylcing center and animal shelter sites. Above: An image of the recycling center from Google Street View.
Meanwhile, the Evanston Baseball and Softball Association and the Evanston American Youth Soccer Association say they’ve gathered 650 signatures on a petition advocating for the indoor sports facility, which they claim they could operate at no cost to the city.
The recycling site is adjacent to the city’s animal shelter, and Bobkiewicz says that property could also be redeveloped for commercial use, if a new site for the shelter can be found. He says he’s exploring options with Skokie officials for a possible combined animal shelter operation.
A staff report suggests sale of the recycling center and animal shelter property could generate about $1.5 million in one-time revenue for the city and that once it was converted to commercial use it might generate about $100,000 in annual property tax revenue, with the city getting about 20 percent and local schools about 67 percent.
West Oakton Development Committee Report (.pdf)
Bobkiewicz memo (.pdf)