Joliet resolves CenterPoint dispute

Lawsuit dismissed after City Council approves warehouse plan

CenterPoint Intermodal Center complex in Joliet. Monday, Dec. 13, 2021 in Joliet.

The city of Joliet apparently has resolved a two-year dispute with CenterPoint Properties over a trucking and warehouse project .

A lawsuit over the project was dismissed Tuesday, a day after the Joliet City Council without saying why Monday approved a warehouse and trucking project it has opposed for nearly two years.

“We reached an agreement in regard to the case,” interim City Attorney Chris Regis said on Tuesday.

The vote was on Monday made at a special meeting called at the start of a week in which the city and CenterPoint were to go to trial over the council’s repeated refusal to approve the project.

The council immediately went into closed session after the vote, putting another cloak of secrecy over one of the city’s most controversial issues — warehouse development and truck traffic on the south end of Joliet.

CenterPoint is the developer of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, a sprawling development that includes intermodal yards in Joliet and Elwood and one that has given the area the designation of the largest inland port in the nation because of the volume of cargo containers arriving by train.

The project approved by the council involves about 150 acres in the area of Brandon and Schweitzer roads. The council earlier this month put CenterPoint on hold when it tabled a vote on the project.

Most of the land is within the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, but the developer needed rezoning along with the annexation of 10 acres for a project that will include two 900,000-square-foot warehouses and a trucking terminal.

The council voted 8-0 for the plan with one member, Suzanna Ibarra, absent and immediately went into closed session, suggesting it would discuss the matter behind closed doors.

Mayor Terry D’Arcy and City Manager Beth Beatty refused to discuss the vote when asked about it after as they headed into the closed-door session.

The pending lawsuit over the Brandon Road project is one of several matters pending in court involving the city, CenterPoint, rival developer NorthPoint Development, and the joint venture partnership, which includes CenterPoint, that built the Houbolt Road toll bridge.