ELWOOD – Developers of a proposed 2,000-plus acre industrial park are promising to clear out village debt if the project goes through.
NorthPoint Development wants to build the $1.2 billion Compass Business Park, the majority of which would be east of the current village limits.
Many Elwood and Jackson Township residents aren’t fond of the plan, and remain sour from the influx of trucks, noise and pollution that came from the CenterPoint development west of the village’s residential core of fewer than 3,000 people.
NorthPoint continues to roll out different components of its plan every few weeks since it became public in June.
The latest thing NorthPoint is touting is promise to eliminate village debt. The project website, CBPark.com, says NorthPoint will make a one-time payment to cover outstanding debt owed by Elwood.
This would amount to an average of $44,000 saved per household, according to NorthPoint.
Developers say Compass will bring in $170 million in tax revenue for taxing districts and schools, with more than $117 million going to schools. That would include Joliet Township High School District 204, because Elwood teens are bused to those schools after finishing up at the K-8 Elwood School.
But Elwood Community Consolidated School District 203 Superintendent Cathie Pezanoski said she has not yet heard from NorthPoint about any possible revenue the district might see.
“The school board wanted to discuss it, to form a stance on it,” Pezanoski sid. “As a board, they gave me a directive to reach out to have NorthPoint come into out next board meeting to discuss what they feel they can benefit us with.”
NorthPoint is schedule to be at the Sept. 19 board meeting as a spotlight speaker, to share information about the project and how it may benefit the district.
Pezanoski, who has been with the district for five years, did not want to comment on what the district’s relationship was like with CenterPoint prior to her arrival. But she did say the current relationship with CenterPoint is minimal.
“It’s a TIF property, and my understanding is the TIF is up for renewal in 2023,” she said. “When that TIF is up, Elwood school district will not be supporting renewal of that TIF. That’s when Elwood would be able to benefit from that deal.”
Pezanoski said the Elwood school district sees no revenue from CenterPoint.
NorthPoint is also promising to donate 27 acres of commercially zoned property along Route 53 to the village to form a new retail zone.
A call to JTHS District 204 Superintendent Cheryl McCarthy was not returned.