News - Joliet and Will County

NorthPoint has a three-town plan

Joliet Plan Commission may vote in February on new proposal

Northpoint protest signs

The latest NorthPoint Development plan creates the possibility that the massive industrial park the developer wants to build could total more than 2,300 acres and stretch into three towns.

Joliet is preparing to put its part of the plan before the city’s Plan Commission next month and perhaps to the City Council for a final vote by St. Patrick’s Day.

NorthPoint announced on Friday that it wants to annex 1,300 acres of land to Joliet, creating a new look to the future Compass Business Park that once was planned for Elwood.

At the same time, NorthPoint is making overtures to Manhattan for the potential annexation of more than 700 acres that also would be part of the Compass Business Park.

The company already has 220 acres of industrial zoned land in Elwood that would be part of the project.

Elwood rejected the Compass Business Park plans in April 2018.

Joliet may be making decisions about the revised plan by Feb. 20.

That’s the next meeting of the Joliet Plan Commission, and interim City Manager Steve Jones told the City Council on Tuesday that the NorthPoint plan may go to the commission at that time.

“We have many, many questions in regards to land use, in regard to transportation,” Jones said. “I don’t think we know enough about it to have an intelligent discussion.”

But NorthPoint met a deadline to have its plan go to the Plan Commission at the February meeting, Kendall Jackson, director of community development said. If the commission recommends approval, the NorthPoint plan could go to the full City Council for a final vote at its March 17 meeting, he said.

NorthPoint has basically moved the plan that was rejected by Elwood to Joliet, as many had predicted for months the developer would do.

The potential Compass Business Park grew by 103 acres thanks to Joliet’s approval two months ago of a rezoning that gave NorthPoint a toehold in the city.

The future industrial park now has the potential to total 2,360 acres, according to the latest available count, depending on how Joliet and the village of Manhattan respond to the developer’s plans.

The NorthPoint announcement on Friday did not mention Manhattan. But it was issued after the village posted its own announcement that NorthPoint had expressed interest in annexation of unincorporated land to both Joliet and Manhattan.

Manhattan Village Administrator Kevin Sing said the land subject to Manhattan oversight totals about 735 acres.

“We’re cautiously moving forward,” Sing said. “We’re trying to set up a meeting to sit down with the developer to get more information.”

The Just Say No to NorthPoint group that has led a grassroots opposition movement against the project was expecting to see it revived.

“We fully expected them to come back with more,” said Stephanie Irvine, a leader in the Just Say to NorthPoint group.

“We knew they weren’t giving up easily.”

Bob Okon

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News