NorthPoint Development’s Compass Business Park at full buildout per maps obtained via NorthPoint Development’s website. We identified the road boundaries as well as subdivisions and landmarks that people will recognize. It will be less than 1 mile from Wilson Creek Elementary School and adjacent to a number of residential areas.
WHAT IS COMPASS BUSINESS PARK?
Compass Business Park is an unprecedented 2000+ acre industrial warehousing, distribution and light manufacturing development proposed by Kansas City developer NorthPoint Development. It would be one of the largest ever built of its kind. To comprehend the size of this development, it would be approximately 3x the size of Midway Airport. All in between the villages of Elwood and Manhattan. The project would span from approximately Route 53 in Elwood east to Cherry Hill Road in Manhattan and from Manhattan Road south to Hoff Road (abutting Midewin Tallgrass Prairie).
WAREHOUSING & DISTRIBUTION, NOT AN INTERMODAL
This development would consist primarily of warehouses in which trucks would move goods to and from the distribution center to their destination. It is not an intermodal facility as it does not have its own rail access. This facility would rely on rail access by connecting to the Centerpoint Intermodal via a bridge over Route 53 at Walter Strawn Drive. (Walter Strawn Drive was closed in 2015 by the Illinois Commerce Commission due to the safety hazard presented when trucks would run into the railroad safety gates on a nearly weekly basis. Last year in March of 2017, the ICC proposed to permanently close Walter Strawn Drive. Opening Walter Strawn Drive will require ICC approval in addition to IDOT.)
Originally, the project was kept in complete secrecy — knowledge of the project leaked onto Facebook in June 2017 with the following picture:
NorthPoint Development first introduced the project to the Village of Elwood, likely because NorthPoint Development would need access to the rail in order to make their project successful. As time went on, more pictures found there way online:
To date, NorthPoint Development has not engaged the Village of Manhattan in negotiations of the project, despite the size of the project and its projected footprint at full build-out, which enters into the Village of Manhattan.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE PROJECT?
NorthPoint Development has closed on some of the property it intends to purchase for the project. At the time of publication, they do not own all of the property. A significant portion of the land is held under an option to buy.
Northpoint Development has submitted an application for the annexation and rezoning to the Village of Elwood only. They continue to neglect the Village of Manhattan. You can view the application materials here (link obtained via FOIA):
The December 2017-January 2018 Public Hearing before the Elwood Planning & Zoning Commission vote was merely a recommendation to the Village Board. It is simply an advisory body and does not have any decision-making authority. Public Hearing before the Elwood Village Board is TBA.
The Just Say No To Northpoint grassroots effort continues to grow with more people joining in opposition to this project. We will do our best to update this website as frequently as we can.
Feel free to visit cbpark.com to learn about the project from the developer — just don’t forget they’re trying to sell you on it.