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NorthPoint plan goes to Joliet City Council for vote

Developer rejected in Elwood wants project zoned for industrial use

The controversial NorthPoint Development industrial plan for Joliet is going to the City Council for a vote Tuesday.

Rezoning for the 103-acre project on Breen Road near Rowell Avenue faced vigorous opposition from area residents at a Plan Commission hearing. But the commission voted unanimously to send the City Council a recommendation for approval.

Residents suspect NorthPoint has long-term plans to link the Joliet site with land it owns to the south in unincorporated Jackson Township to create the Compass Business Park. That project was rejected in Elwood after an outpouring of opposition.

Council member Terry Morris, whose District 5 includes the NorthPoint site, said Thursday that he is undecided on the plan.

“It sounds like a decent project,” Morris said, adding that the plans do not include million-square-foot warehouses “like we’ve been having.”

NorthPoint has submitted two plans for the site – one for semitrailers and one for smaller trucks.

The township roads leading to the site would not accommodate semitrailers. NorthPoint has one plan for specialized distributors, small manufacturers and service centers it said would not require semitrailers.

Another plan has three larger buildings that could be used for warehouses if road improvements are made to accommodate semitrailers. The largest of those three buildings is 208,000 square feet.

“NorthPoint has been successful at building and managing a variety of developments for customized uses,” said company spokesman Scott Burnham.

Burnham has consistently declined to address whether NorthPoint wants to eventually link the site to 670 acres it has 1.5 miles to the south and create one parcel for a larger industrial park. He did, however call the Joliet project “a separate proposal.”

City staff members have recommended approval of rezoning for NorthPoint.

Director of Community Development Kendall Jackson said that if rezoning is approved, NorthPoint would need more approvals for specific plans for the site. He said the city could require NorthPoint to improve the roads to accommodate larger trucks.

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