Kansas City-based industrial warehouse developer, NorthPoint Development, has been working on a plan to acquire nearly 2,000+ acres of prime farmland in our area and replace it with a massive industrial warehouse complex. This project is being proposed at a time when Will County is suffering from an astronomical growth in trucking and warehouse development that is straining an already decrepit and ill-maintained roadway system.
As a result many residents of this area are fed up with local, regional and state governments allowing this area to be turned into an unsafe and unlivable industrial zone. This proposed development would negatively impact our communities to the point that they would be unrecognizable if NorthPoint were to come through. Learn more about the project through this site.
In response to the proposal for this industrial warehousing project, local residents joined together. The result is an unofficial grassroots effort led by concerned Will County residents who are united by the desire to stop NorthPoint Development’s proposed Compass Business Park.
What Our Group Represents
Our group is non-partisan and is focused on a singular purpose of stopping this development. We have members of who primarily reside in Jackson Township, Manhattan Township, the Village of Manhattan, and the Village of Elwood, Illinois. Our group is expanding daily as our efforts continue to grow.
Additionally, our group is not an anti-development group. We are also not against truck drivers, union members or warehouse workers, and in fact, we have folks of those professions who are part of the fight. We ardently support them as they support us because many of them have first-hand knowledge why this project is not good for our community.
Since 2017, we have been committed to taking action: making phone calls, writing letters or emails, passing out flyers, printing flyers, advocating in door-to-door campaigns, attending meetings, and doing our part to make sure our neighbors know what’s going on. Our group is actively working to ensure elected officials hear clearly from residents about the unsuitability of this industrial development for our area. While we will try to get updates to this page as soon as we can, please visit our Facebook page for the latest news, information and updates.
MORE THAN JUST A BUNCH OF NIMBYS
Our group is not simply made up of NIMBYs, we are hard-working people from all over Will County. As we have worked hard to present factual information, government officials have taken it upon themselves to research the project and take a stand. The result is increasing awareness — and opposition — to the project.
TAXING BODIES AGAINST NORTHPOINT DEVELOPMENT
Formal resolutions against NorthPoint Development’s Compass Business Park have been issued by the following:
- Jackson Township
- Elwood CCSD #203
- Elwood Fire Protection District
- Manhattan Township
- Manhattan School District #114
Formal Letters of Opposition to Compass Business Project have been filed by the Village of Elwood and the Village of Manhattan (forthcoming – vote November 2018) with the county.
Will County Board Candidates Against NorthPoint Development
In District 6, which includes Elwood where the majority of the project is proposed, candidates Don Gould (R) and Joe Van Duyne (D) have come out in strong opposition to the project. Don Gould spoke out at the public hearings in Elwood and has been an ardent supporter of our cause. You can learn more about Don here.
Additionally, Joe Van Duyne has publicly made a statement, like Don Gould, to support our cause and oppose NorthPoint Development’s project — even at the cost of losing a campaign endorsement from Doc Gregory. Gregory is the head of the Will/Grundy County Building Trades, which has ruthlessly supported the NorthPoint Project, even when evidence was provided that showed that NorthPoint has not been a friend to Union labor in projects out of state.
Debbie Militello refuses to make a statement on the project. However, it is clear where she stands based on comments made in snarky emails to her constituents. Militello has accepted campaign donations from prominent land use attorney, Kavanagh and Grumley, which happens to represent NorthPoint Development in their newest application. Additionally, she took the campaign endorsement from Van Duyne when the Will-Grundy Building Trades dropped him. Will-Grundy Building Trades have been one of the most ardent supporters of the NorthPoint project, and support for the project is a requirement to having their endorsement. Militello has blocked our supporters on Facebook and refuses to address NorthPoint. Militello is not a friend to the residents of Jackson Township and does not support our cause.
ORGANIZATIONS AGAINST NORTHPOINT DEVELOPMENT
- Openlands conservation organization— read their news update here!
- Warehouse Workers For Justice
- Sierra Club created a petition against additional warehousing. Learn more here: http://www.theherald-news.com/2017/11/22/illinois-sierra-club-seeks-moratorium-on-new-warehouses-built-in-will-county/asc4pot/
ABOUT OUR SIGNS – New & OLD
You may have noticed yard signs in the yards of homes in Elwood and Manhattan. The “Just Say No To NorthPoint” signs were created by a Jackson Township resident who wanted to show opposition to NorthPoint Development’s Compass Business Park and raise awareness about the ongoing truck problems that have plagued Elwood since Centerpoint Intermodal and other distribution warehouses popped up along Route 53.
The “No More Trucks” component of our signs originated in Elwood. It was was intended to convey that Elwood residents wanted to see “NO MORE TRUCKS” driving through town on residential streets and non-truck routes, entering places that they should not (such as Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery), carrying overweight loads damaging our roadways, and disobeying traffic signals, endangering the community. Those are very real events that occur on a daily basis within the Village of Elwood.
New Signs, New Messaging
As our grassroots effort has grown, we have come to realize that areas outside of Elwood, such as Manhattan and neighboring communities currently shielded from through-truck traffic, have not experienced the influx of wayward trucks described above. As such, the message became skewed/misinterpreted by some. At no point in time were our signs intended to disrespect the truck driving profession as a whole.
We recognize that there are hardworking truck drivers just trying to earn a living. Many are opposed to NorthPoint Development. We also know that trucks are a necessary part of our economy. We hope that explaining this messaging brings forth a mutual understanding of how/why that messaging ended up on our signs.
Moving forward, although the “No More Trucks” messaging remains a component of the hundreds of signs distributed in our communities, we do not want this to be the sole reason for communicating opposition to NorthPoint Development’s Compass Business Park, mostly because there are a multitude of other reasons why this project will be a detriment to our community.
Our new signs display our website URL instead of the “No More Trucks” slogan. Signs were donated by local residents and are being distributed while supplies last.