NorthPoint Development, the company behind the controversial Compass Business Park, approached Manhattan officials about possibly pursuing a project in the village.
The village of Manhattan announced Friday that NorthPoint requested a meeting with Mayor James Doyle, Trustee Michael Naughton and village staff, according to a news release.
According to the village, Doyle reminded NorthPoint of Manhattan’s boundary agreements with Elwood and Joliet, which “dictate how any future development must be negotiated.”
“As we’ve clearly stated in the past, we favor responsible development,” Doyle said. “Good-paying jobs and an expanded tax base are welcomed advancements, but we will not strike any deal without proper, transparent coordination.”
To that end, Doyle said he instructed staff to create a public portal on the village website, where they will upload past and future public information related to this project.
Village officials said they requested that NorthPoint provide detailed information on the project, including a concept plan and detailed traffic impact study. The village said the traffic study must include traffic impacts under the assumption there would not be a bridge to the intermodal ports.
Naughton said that once the information is received, the village will hire experts to assist staff in evaluating and analyzing it and conduct a market study to determine demand for the project.
Organizers of the Just Say No to NorthPoint movement, which has campaigned against the project since it was before the Elwood Village Board, released a statement in response to the announcement: “It’s clear that NorthPoint Development is beyond desperate by approaching Manhattan, who NorthPoint previously disrespected on multiple occasions. It’s embarrassing. We are looking forward to Manhattan officials keeping their integrity and campaign promises by opposing NorthPoint Development. We also appreciate the transparency surrounding the conversation, but we do believe it’s a conversation they don’t need to have.”
NorthPoint Development originally worked on the Compass Business Park proposal with Elwood, but the mayor cancelled a vote after significant public outcry. Last summer, NorthPoint revived its plan when it filed an application with Will County, but as of last month, officials hadn't heard much of anything about moving forward.