Joliet waits on annexation petitions as NorthPoint says its ready to build

NorthPoint Development has not submitted paperwork to start the annexation process into Joliet, even as the company released a poll this week showing popular support for its plans and says it is ready to start building its controversial logistics park.

The developer's plan for the Compass Corporate Logistics Hub, potentially at least 2,200 acres in size, hinges on annexation of 1,260 acres into the city of Joliet.

"NorthPoint has purchased more than 1,200 acres in the footprint of the project and has acquired the land needed to execute the annexation agreement," Scott Burnham, a spokesman for the developer said Friday. "Everything is in place for the agreement to be valid, binding and enforceable."

Burnham, however, said he did not know how much of the land acquired by NorthPoint is in the area to be annexed into Joliet. He also did not know why the developer has not submitted documentation to the city to show it has land needed for the annexation.

The pre-annexation agreement approved by Joliet in April gives NorthPoint 90 days to acquire a majority of the property to be annexed and "submit evidence satisfactory to the city." Title documentation and petitions for annexation are required before the city can consider annexation.

"We have not seen anything," Kendall Jackson, director of community development for Joliet, said.

NorthPoint two weeks ago said it had acquired the land needed for annexation and was ready to start building the Compass Global Logistics Hub.

At that time, Jackson, whose department oversees annexations, said he had not heard from NorthPoint.

Meanwhile, NorthPoint has commissioned a polling service to conduct a survey that its says shows widespread support for the project.

The poll results released this week showed people living within a 12-mile radius of the project supported it by a 59-31 margin. Those within a 35-mile radius supported it by a 57-21 margin.

People surveyed were told the project would create thousands of jobs, generate millions in tax dollars, and lead to safer roads.

"Clearly the survey is slanted in their favor because it's funded by them," said Erin Gallagher, who is organizing an effort to fight the project in court.

Gallagher said the project continues to face issues, including another lawsuit objecting to a bridge over Route 53 that NorthPoint needs to build to satisfy the Joliet pre-annexation agreement.

"There are lots of unanswered questions and unresolved issues," Gallagher said. "They are no way near ready."