The Joliet City Council on Tuesday voted for NorthPoint Development’s plans to start building a 2,300-acre industrial park while blocking rival developer CenterPoint Properties from continuing development.
The lawsuit brought by Houbolt Road Extension Joint Venture, which is building the Houbolt Road bridge, unsuccessfully sought an emergency order to block the council vote Tuesday. The lawsuit contends that the plats approved Tuesday and a previous annexation agreement violate a previous intergovernmental agreement made with the private group building the bridge.
CenterPoint Properties has developed the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, which runs from Joliet into Elwood and contains the two intermodal yards in both towns.
NorthPoint is developing a controversial industrial park on the outskirts of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center and relies on access to the intermodal yards.
The NorthPoint project faces opposition from residents in the areas surrounding it. Grassroots groups also have gone to court trying to stop the project, contending it will damage communities by adding more truck traffic to the area.
A half-dozen residents spoke Tuesday against the NorthPoint plans for development of the first 532 acres of the project now called the Third Coast Intermodal Hub.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge the totality of the project when you consider the 532 acres,” said Julie Baum Coldwater, a farmer from Jackson Township.
Baum Coldwater said the NorthPoint expansion plans could spread the industrial park to as much as 4,000 acres in size.
Joliet has agreed to annex 2,300 acres for the Third Coast Intermodal Hub.
“We have not seen traffic studies that will truly address how all that will be accommodated,” Baum Coldwater said.
The council voted, 7-1, for the NorthPoint plats, which will allow the developer to begin construction in an area west of Route 53 and south of Millsdale Road. Council member Cesar Guerrero was the lone no vote.
NorthPoint has said it plans to begin construction this summer.
Council member Pat Mudron was the lone “no” vote when the council voted 7-1 to deny CenterPoint’s plan to develop another 476 acres inside the CenterPoint Intermodal Center.