Not much is happening at the future Rock Run Crossings site, but an attorney for the developer says it will develop.

Adding interchange access to the 265-acre site at the corner of Interstates 55 and 80 will make a big difference, attorney Rick Joseph said.

“The property has no access. People as a result of that have been gun-shy,” Joseph said. “Once [the Illinois Department of Transportation] starts work and people see there will be an interchange there, it will be a different story.”

Construction could start sometime in 2021 after agreements made this week.

Joseph made the comment after having talked with the Joliet City Council on Monday about an agreement in which the city committed nearly $12.4 million to the interchange project with the understanding that the money will come from Cullinan Properties and revenue generated by Rock Run Crossings.

“I’m here to tell you that Cullinan is going to develop the property,” Joseph told the council.

Cullinan is the second developer since 2008 with plans to develop the 265-acre site into a regional attraction with stores, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues. Cullinan also plans residences, office space and health care facilities.

The site is seen as appealing because of its location in the northeast corner of the crossroads of Interstates 55 and 80, two highways that have the capacity to bring people from the Chicago region and downstate.

But improving the Route 59 interchange to provide access to the site has always been an issue.

Joliet’s commitment of $12.4 million will be added to $75 million the state is spending to improve the interchange access, city economic development specialist Derek Conley said.

According to Conley, the state plans to begin bidding on the project later this year, which would put it on track for construction to start sometime in 2021.

The city will issue bonds for the
$12.3 million.

But the agreement made with Cullinan protects the city from putting its own money into paying off those bonds, he said.

“It shifts the risk from the city of Joliet to Cullinan,” Conley told the council.

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