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Devon Brewery Plans Nixed As Developer, Owners Go In 'Different Directions'

By Linze Rice | January 5, 2016 10:34am
 The corner of 1227 W. Devon and Magnolia, that will still be available commercial space, but no longer the planned brew pub.
The corner of 1227 W. Devon and Magnolia, that will still be available commercial space, but no longer the planned brew pub.
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DNAinfo/Linze Rice

EDGEWATER — After a summer chock full of buzz generating around a new family-owned brew pub on Devon Avenue, the developer for the project said those plans are off as he and the owners "went in different directions."

"We just couldn't come to terms, for whatever reasons," developer Scott Whelan told DNAinfo.

The plan was for husband-and-wife team Alex Drayer and Brittany Groot to head D and G Brewing Co. out of 1221-23 W. Devon Ave., while Whelan built five condo units atop the building.

Whelan said he didn't know if the couple planned to take their idea for a brewery elsewhere, but he was still forging ahead with his project to build out the "gigantic, dramatic" first-floor commercial space (including 16-foot ceilings) along 1221-27 W. Devon Ave. with the apartments on top.

Drayer did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Though it won't be the brew pub Ald. Joe Moore (49th), Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) and Ald. Pat O'Connor (50th) united on this summer to lift a decades old liquor moratorium on Devon, Whelan said he wouldn't "sneak in" any businesses the neighborhood wouldn't want, or the aldermen didn't approve of.

In September, the city approved the lifting of the moratorium, which by law must be upheld for at least a year.

One concern during community meetings in July centered around the neighborhood's approval of the brewery, but worry that if it didn't work out another less-desirable business could swoop in within the time the ban was lifted without residential consent.

Whelan said that wouldn't happen.

"I have no ambitions to sneak something in ... I wouldn't do that," Whelan said. "I just want to get my permits so I can get the roof up and show the neighborhood — bam — there's basically going to be a brand new building right there."

There's "high interest" in the commercial space, he said, but in order for brokers to get the full picture of what the space would look like, Whelan said he's waiting for the city to allow him to pop on the first floor roof and remove the scaffolding and canopy around the building's perimeter.

For now, he said he's done all he can to secure what he needs for the city to approve his next round of permits for his roof — something he said he expects to get "any day now."

After that, he said he'll be able to begin working on the building's second and third floors, while also showing the property off to interested tenants.

"I'm just keeping my fingers crossed," Whelan said.

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