Local News

Amazon delivery station being planned for Crystal Lake

An estimated 500 jobs would be created, according to city staff

The undeveloped land north of Congress Parkway and east of South Main Street in Crystal Lake photographed on Saturday, December 4, 2021, is the site of a potential Amazon warehouse

An Amazon delivery station could be coming to Crystal Lake after receiving an unanimous positive recommendation from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The station, set to be at 275 S. Main St., will be about 183,000 square feet and sit on 63 acres of land, which is much smaller than Amazon’s fulfillment center facilities, including the one coming to Huntley, Community Development Director Katie Cowlin said.

The Crystal Lake City Council still needs to give the final approval, but if it does, construction on the center is expected to start in 2022, Cowlin said.

The project is scheduled to go in front of the City Council on Dec. 21.

Amazon delivery stations are considered the last stop in the distribution process for packages before they are taken to people’s homes or businesses, Cowlin said. Truck deliveries will usually occur overnight, with packages being sorted in the facility then loaded onto vans for delivery.

The vans will leave the property once a day between 9:50 to 11:50 a.m. and come back 7:10 to 9:10 p.m, an Amazon representative said at Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Most of the vehicles will travel to the property by going through Exchange Drive and Route 14, with some using Congress Parkway, Main Street or Pingree Road.

The undeveloped land north of Congress Parkway and east of South Main Street in Crystal Lake photographed on Saturday, December 4, 2021, is the site of a potential Amazon warehouse

Most of the traffic from the Amazon delivery center will not come during the morning and evening rush hour, said Sara Disney-Haufe of Sam Schwartz Traffic, a consultant the city hired to do a traffic study for the development based on factors, including existing traffic conditions, expected growth in the area and how much traffic the development will add.

The proposed delivery station will increase the average volume of traffic at the Exchange Drive and Congress Parkway intersection by 12.5%, according to city documents. The traffic study included a recommendation that developers contribute 12.5% of the cost of the roundabout proposed to be built at that intersection.

Other recommendations for improvements included in the traffic study include: constructing a sidewalk on both sides of the extension on Exchange Drive, which would connect to Commonwealth Drive and limit access at Main Street; dedicating a right-of-way on Main Street; upgrading side streets and the Commonwealth Drive intersection; and installing a right turn lane into the site from Main Street onto the extension of Exchange Drive.

Seefried Properties is the developer of the property, while Amazon will be its tenant.

David Riefe, senior vice president with Seefried Properties, said Seefried currently is under contract to buy the 63-acre parcel on Exchange Drive.

The undeveloped land north of Congress Parkway and east of South Main Street in Crystal Lake photographed on Saturday, December 4, 2021, is the site of a potential Amazon warehouse

Seefried is currently in the “feasibility” stage of the purchase contract, which includes doing an environmental analysis on the site, Riefe said.

“Part of that feasibility is to make certain we can obtain the necessary government approvals,” Riefe said.

About 42 acres of the 63-acre property currently are in unincorporated McHenry County. These 42 acres would need to be annexed into the city, Seefried’s zoning attorney, Peter Bazos, told Planning and Zoning commissioners.

An estimated 500 jobs will be created by the delivery station, made up of 199 associates who would work in the facility, 21 line-haul truck drivers, 230 delivery drivers and 60 tenant flex route drivers, Cowlin said. Starting pay would be $18 to 22 an hour.

The Huntley development by contrast is a lot larger and will serve a different purpose in the fulfillment process.

Amazon plans to construct 629,186-square-foot distribution center in Huntley, with a 44,186-square-foot office space, and is estimated to bring in about 1,000 jobs. The fact that the facility would be built for Amazon was kept secret throughout the entire village approval process.