Community Benefits of Compass Business Park
Compass Business Park will serve as a responsible neighbor and provide the community with the following benefits, subject to the review, consideration and approval of the Village of Elwood.
- Elimination of Elwood’s debt
$44,000 Per Household Saved. NorthPoint will make a one-time payment to cover outstanding debt owed by Elwood, saving village residents a combined $38 million in principal and interest, or approximately $44,000 per household that taxpayers would have to pay.
- New Revenue for Taxing Districts/Schools
$170 Million in Tax Revenue Generated. Money from property improvements means new tax revenue to local governments and taxing districts – from $6.8 million to $170 million over a 20-year period. More than $117 million of that revenue will go to local schools and classrooms.
- No-Cost Retail Development Opportunity
NorthPoint will donate 27 acres of commercially zoned property along Route 53 to the Village, kick-starting a new retail zone to serve residents and generate new tax revenue.
- Up to 1,600 Annual Construction Jobs
The construction plan for Compass Business Park will create 1,200-1,600 construction jobs each year during buildout.
- Union Jobs Guaranteed
NorthPoint will build with skilled union workers, governed by Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Three Rivers Construction Alliance and the Will & Grundy Counties Building Trades Council. PLAs are agreements between developers and trade unions that involve large construction projects, requiring highly skilled workers.
- Workforce Development Center Provides Opportunity
NorthPoint will construct and house a Learning and Career Center and partner with local schools, colleges and career centers to deliver services to the community, including career enhancement, workforce training, job placement and continuing education.
- 400+ acres of Open/Naturalized Areas
NorthPoint will preserve and protect 150 acres of Manhattan Creek for habitat, heritage farm, recreation or park, including trails; designate 200 acres of natural water detention areas for wildlife and plant habitats and to naturally clean and return storm water to the aquafers; and create a park area south of Ira Morgan Street, connecting to a new trail network.
- New Trees and Plantings
NorthPoint will plant more than 10,000 trees within the business park and surrounding areas, including Archer Park, to provide a natural buffer from residential areas.
- 400+ acres of Open/Naturalized Areas
– 4,500 new trees to the business park area up from about 200
– 3,700 new trees on new landscaped berms
– 1,000 new trees for residential buffer areas
– 200+ new trees and other plantings to naturalize existing ponds south of Ira Morgan
– 200+ new trees and plantings to enhance Archer Park
- Connected Multi-Purpose Trail Network
Compass Business Park will offer 5.5 miles of protected road-separated pedestrian and bike access, safely connecting Archer Park to Coldwater, Chicago, Rowell, Brown, Ridge and Cherry Hill roads. The path will also safely take pedestrians and bicyclists over Rt. 53 to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
- Safe Connection to Midewin
NorthPoint will construct a multi-purpose trail that provides safe and convenient access from O’Connor and Archer parks across Route 53 to connect residents and visitors to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
- New Infrastructure Enhancements
The project will fund $100 million cost of new public infrastructure, including 14 miles of roads, 5.5 miles of multi-purpose trails, a new traffic signal at Mississippi & Rt. 53, sewers and water treatment facilities. The investment will ensure that traffic is appropriately managed.
- Decorative Gateway Bridge and Closed Loop
A new bridge over Rt. 53 that connects Walter Strawn Drive and Ira Morgan Street will provide the only access to and from Compass Business Park. Once inside the park, a “closed loop” restricts trucks from exiting onto local roads. When trucks exit, they’ll follow the preferred truck routes to I-55 and I-80 that avoid local roads.
- No Financial Risk to Taxpayers
Unlike past projects, Compass Business Park will not require any general obligation bonds. NorthPoint will take on all of the financial risks.
- Impact Fees Covered
The establishment of a Special Services Area will hold Compass Business Park liable for the cost of any annual local impacts, such as additional police & fire personnel and public works.
- Decorative Gateway Bridge Provides Only Truck Access
A new bridge over Rt. 53 that connects Walter Strawn Drive and Ira Morgan Street will provide the only truck access to and from Compass Business Park.
- Alternative Route Will Relieve Exiting Employee Traffic
The bridge will also provide a second access point for commuter traffic to reach Centerpoint, easing congestion on Mississippi Street. The alternative access route for those employees will result in times that are 20-30 percent faster than using Mississippi Avenue, according to a traffic review by the national traffic-engineering firm of Kimley-Horn. The faster route would discourage use of Mississippi, particularly during peak times.
- Closed Loop System Takes Trucks Off Local Roads
Once inside the park, a “closed loop” restricts trucks from exiting onto local roads. When trucks exit, they’ll follow the preferred truck routes to I-55 and I-80 that avoid local roads.
- Barriers Keep Trucks Out, Let Cars in
NorthPoint will install truck barriers that prevent trucks from entering or exiting the park anywhere but the bridge over Route 53. The barriers would allow car traffic, farm equipment and emergency vehicles to exit and enter as needed. NorthPoint will work with the Village to develop and control employee access points to the business park.
- New Signal and Safety Officers at Mississippi Avenue
NorthPoint will work with the Village and law enforcement officials to encourage the State to allow a traffic light at the intersection of Mississippi Street and Route 53. It will also hire traffic safety officers to specifically police the intersection during peak traffic hours.
- Comprehensive Signage System
NorthPoint will develop a comprehensive signage system for trucks to alert drivers of the appropriate routes and coordinate with the County, State and mapping services to update trucker GPS. It will also work with the Village and stakeholders to educate and inform truck drivers about the rules of the road and area truck routes.