ELWOOD – Developers of a proposed 2,000-acre warehousing, distribution and light manufacturing park in Elwood have released more details about their proposal ahead of a June 27 open house.
At CBPark.com, residents can view NorthPoint Development’s conceptual plan for both the $1.2 billion park and the company’s intent to partner with the community.
Since first hearing about the proposal, residents of the small village have expressed concern on social media about increased truck traffic, property values, pollution and safety.
NorthPoint is listening to feedback and developing plans to come up with a solution that considers the community’s needs and concerns, a news release states. Plans are in the initial stages now and NorthPoint is looking forward to presenting its plan and getting feedback from residents.
“We’re listening and are committed to ensuring responsible growth, safe roads and secure property values in Elwood,” NorthPoint Vice President of Development Patrick Robinson said in the news release. “This is an opportunity to work with the Village of Elwood and residents on a smart development plan to capture growing intermodal demand, contain truck traffic and create long-term community benefits.”
Early projections by NorthPoint show the potential for 15,000 jobs upon completion of the park with 1,200 to 1,600 construction jobs while the park is built out in phases over an approximately 10-year span.
As part of the plan, NorthPoint would fund a gateway bridge over Route 53 that would provide the only truck access to and from Compass Business Park. Once inside the park, a “closed loop” would restrict trucks from exiting onto local roads.
To leave the park, trucks would travel over the bridge and follow a preferred route onto Interstate 55 and the future Houbolt Road Bridge onto Interstate 80.
Walter Strawn Drive at the intersection of Route 53 would remain shut down, as it has been since the state closed it in 2015 amid safety concerns.
NorthPoint is proposing the installation of truck controls, including barriers, to limit the ability for trucks to access local roads or Route 53 from the business park. NorthPoint also plans to educate drivers and use proper signage to help drivers navigate in an out of the business park without encroaching into residential areas, according to the news release.
NorthPoint states it is committed to building “meaningful and lasting relationships with the community and area schools, civic organizations and businesses.”
As part of the project, NorthPoint would:
• Construct a multi-purpose trail that provides safe and convenient access from O’Connor and Archer parks across Route 53 to connect residents and visitors to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
• Help fund and build a learning and career center in Elwood and partner with local schools, colleges and career centers to deliver services to the community, including career enhancement, workforce training, job placement and continuing education.