Montgomery gives green light for 204-acre industrial, commercial project east of Orchard Road in Kendall County

Karis Acquisitions, LLC of Schaumburg is seeking village of Montgomery approval to subdivide, rezone and develop the vacant parcel near the southeast corner of Orchard Road and Caterpillar Drive as the Karis Center for Commerce. Orchard Road is shown on the map to the left. (Map courtesy of the village of Montgomery)

A 204-acre industrial and commercial development will locate east of Orchard Road in the Kendall County portion of Montgomery as a result of action taken this week by the Village Board.

In a 6-0 ballot Monday evening, March 27, the board approved a special use permit, a planned unit development agreement, rezoning request and a preliminary plat of subdivision for the Karis Center for Commerce.

Karis Acquisitions LLC of Schaumburg will develop the project on a vacant parcel located south of Caterpillar Drive.

As proposed by Karis, the project will be developed in three phases, beginning with the construction of a 500,000-square-foot building on the southern portion of the property just west of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railway tracks. The building will have an adjoining rail yard and house Ravago, a Belgium-based firm that is active in polymer and chemical distribution, plastic recycling and compounding of plastic and elastomeric raw materials.

Subsequent development phases for the project will yield a 300,000-square-foot addition to the building along with a second 300,000-square-foot building and a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse/distribution facility with outdoor storage.

The project also includes a 5.75-acre parcel zoned B-2 for retail business development along the east side of Orchard Road south of Caterpillar Drive.

Traffic access to the site will be off an extension of Galena Road east from Orchard Road and from the construction of a new road, Karis Way, to extend from Caterpillar Drive south across the property.

In addition to its location within village limits, the project site is within the boundaries of Oswego SD308, the Oswego Fire Protection District and Oswego Public Library District. Portions of the property are located in the Oswegoland and Fox Valley park districts, respectively.

Sonya Abt, the village’s community development director, told board members the developers will be required to submit and secure board approval of a final subdivision plat and planned unit development agreement before beginning construction.

“They (Karis Acquisitions) have advised (village) staff they do plan in the next 90 days or less to apply for final subdivision plat approval,” Abt said.

According to information provided by Karis to the village, the initial Ravago facility will be similar to another facility operated by the firm in Medina, Ohio, and function as the firm’s primary plastic resin distribution center to serve customers in the Chicago region.

An estimated 80-90 employees will work at the facility with jobs including customer service, packaging/production operators, maintenance technicians and forklift operators. Wages will range from $20 to $30 an hour for hourly employees, while management salaries will range from $60,000 to $170,000 a year.

The initial phase of the project has an estimated value of $75 million to $90 million and an anticipated operational date of July 31, 2024.

Prior to the board vote, board member Tom Betsinger questioned whether village staff had received any feedback from the public about the development.

Abt said the village received an online inquiry last week asking whether Ravago would be recycling plastics on the site and if the project raised any public health or safety concerns.

“We replied back they would not be recycling any of the plastic on-site and there is no manufacturing,” Abt said.

Betsinger said he did receive comments from constituents about the development.

“Truck traffic seemed to be the main concern from what I’ve heard over the last couple of weeks,” Betsinger said.

Abt told board members the developers, at the board’s prior request, dropped plans to construct a sidewalk on either side of Karis Way and instead will construct an eight-foot wide bike path on one side of the street.

Board member Theresa Sperling, acting as village president pro-tem in the absence of Matt Brolley, extended thanks to the Scheuring family that has owned the land.

Sperling said as the village negotiated a boundary agreement with the village of Oswego for properties along Orchard Road years ago, family members told village officials they wanted to see the land annexed to Montgomery.

“We are really thankful to the family for having that vision and thinking so far in advance,” Sperling said.

During a meeting March 2, the village’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-0 to approve a recommendation in support of the project. The board voted unanimously to accept the commission’s favorable recommendation during a March 13 meeting.