NorthPoint Submits Community-Minded Compass Business Park Plan to Elwood
Project controls truck traffic; provides revenue, benefits and jobs
- Closed loop captures and contains truck traffic; ultimately reduces highway congestion
- Local feedback and input shaped project design and brought new benefits
Proposal guarantees no financial risk to Village or taxpayers
- $1.2 billion project will bring an estimated $170+ million to Village, Schools and other taxing bodies in new tax revenue; up to 1,600 construction jobs per year.
(Elwood half of project: a $600 million investment = an estimated $87+ million to Village, local schools and other taxing bodies)
- Architectural design standards with natural buffers, landscaping/trees and accessible walking/biking trails enhance business park
Elwood, Ill. (Dec. 4, 2017) – NorthPoint Development’s project team has filed a formal plan with the Village of Elwood to begin the first half of Compass Business Park, a master-planned warehouse, distribution and light manufacturing development designed to keep trucks off local roads.
The plan, which follows several months of dialogue and input from the community, calls for constructing the first half of the park, consisting of approximately 851 acres east of Route 53 in Elwood in southern Will County. NorthPoint’s venture plans to invest $600 million on the first half of Compass Business Park, which will strengthen Elwood’s tax base and generate new revenue for local taxing bodies, businesses and the regional and state economy.
The NorthPoint team has submitted its plan to the Village for a recommendation by its Planning & Zoning Commission, which will meet on December 19.
“The feedback from neighbors and the community has been instrumental in helping shape a safe and responsible plan that provides benefits to both residents and the Village and includes taxpayer protections,” said Patrick Robinson, Vice President of Development at NorthPoint. “Unlike the haphazard development that has occurred in recent years along Route 53, Compass Business Park is a master-planned development – intended to accommodate the new growth of the intermodal facilities, which are expanding at a rapid pace to handle the needs of the new economy. Elwood has an opportunity to strategically capture this demand, benefit from the development and keep trucks off local roads.”
In June, NorthPoint announced its plan to build the 2,000-acre business park, most of which is located approximately one mile east of Route 53 in the currently unincorporated area east of Elwood and west of Manhattan. The project features a dedicated truck route, which captures and contains truck traffic, keeping it off local roads and Route 53.
As part of the plan, NorthPoint will fund a decorative gateway bridge over Route 53 that will provide the only truck access to and from Compass Business Park. Once inside the park, a closed loop restricts trucks from exiting onto local roads. The Walter Strawn Drive intersection at Route 53 will remain closed.
The Elwood portion of the plan, which starts in Elwood and heads east, will take up to six years to complete construction. NorthPoint’s team is requesting the Village rezone approximately 851 acres of land (of which 176 acres are currently located in the Village) and eventually annex approximately 675 of that land into the Village.
During the last 10 years, Will County has experienced a 138 percent growth in freight. More warehousing and distribution are sprouting up along the Route 53 Corridor – South of I-80 – to meet the demand created by the growing UP and BNSF intermodal facilities. As a result, more warehouse/distribution development is surrounding the area, and more is needed to meet the demand as evidenced by larger warehouses going up closer to Elwood.
The Compass Business Park plan would reduce the adverse impact of truck traffic caused by the expansion of the BNSF and UP facilities and resulting new warehouses. By making it more convenient for trucks to drop off shipments in Compass Business Park, the number of trucks on regional highways would reduce simultaneously because they will have fewer highway trips back and forth from the intermodals to warehouses located within a 10-mile radius.
Based on community feedback, NorthPoint will install truck controls around the park’s perimeter, including 10 barriers that prevent trucks from entering and exiting onto local roads or Route 53. Emergency vehicles and farming equipment will be able to move through or under the barriers. The plan also features strategic employee access points to ease congestion in and out of the business park.
NorthPoint has also created design guidelines to produce an orderly and aesthetically pleasing development of high-quality architecture in harmony with the environment. The community requested new trees and plantings throughout the business park to increase the visual appeal, so NorthPoint will plant a double row of trees with trees placed every 20 feet over primary roads.
Compass Business Park will offer approximately three miles of protected road-separated access, safely connecting pedestrians and bicyclists from O’Connor and Archer Parks to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
Compass Business Park comes at no risk to local taxpayers. In addition, revenue from property improvements on the Elwood half means new tax revenue to local governments and taxing districts – from currently just few million over 20 years to approximately $87 million. More than 65 percent of that additional revenue will go to local schools and classrooms.
As an eventual part of its proposal, NorthPoint has also agreed to pay off the Village of Elwood’s outstanding debt, saving Village residents a combined estimated $38 million in principal and interest, or approximately $44,000 per household that taxpayers would have to pay.
The business park would also generate new revenue for Will County and the State of Illinois from the economic activity from the proposed Elwood portion off the park, which would add 1,200 to 1,600 annual construction jobs annually and approximately 4,000 to 6,000 full-time, permanent positions, according to an analysis by the University of Illinois’ Regional Economic Applications Laboratory.
NorthPoint will build with skilled union workers, governed by a 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 and require highly skilled workers.
NorthPoint Development puts people first, lives generously and doe the right thing. We live by the motto “Beyond the Contract,” which represents our commitments beyond the dotted line and puts people first. We are a dedicated partner and committed to being a responsible neighbor. We are a privately held development firm based in Kansas City with a focus on Class A development in the industrial, senior housing and self-storage markets within the central part of the United States. We are currently active in 11 states, including: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Florida. Our team’s broad experience enables us to create long term value to our clients through smart real estate decisions. We further distinguish ourselves through a strong engineering and technical focus, including in-house industrial architects, civil, geotech, electrical and industrial process engineers as well as team members with deep expertise in logistics. Learn more about NorthPoint Development at www.beyondthecontract.com.