Joliet Council approves development projects
October 1, 2013 10:26PM
A half-dozen business and development projects got the green light from the Joliet City Council on Tuesday, and there were hints of more development to come, including a future project on Jefferson Street.
The retail development approved Tuesday on Jefferson Street involves the old Joliet Dodge property at Caterpillar Drive. It will include a Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill along with an Aldi store moved from another Jefferson Street location.
Councilman Michael Turk raised a question often on the minds of Joliet consumers when he asked whether the chain restaurant buildings will be of the same quality as sometimes seen in other communities.
“We want what our neighbors are getting in terms of aesthetics,” Turk said.
Developer Jerry Cairo pointed to the Starbucks he brought to the other side of Jefferson Street and said, “I believe the buildings are of high quality.”
Councilman Jim McFarland noted that a commercial strip to the west of the future development could stand some improvements and suggested that the city consider incentives for owners of older property that’s next to new developments.
“I’ve noticed that we get great developments plugged next to buildings that are not as nice,” McFarland said.
Joliet could see more development on Jefferson Street. City Manager Thomas Thanas said the city is working with a developer on a project across from Bill Jacobs Chevrolet that could be presented to the council “very soon.”
The council also gave zoning approval for a car wash at 2831 W. Jefferson St.
The other projects approved by council members Tuesday were:
Zoning for a fueling center for fleet trucks that would provide liquid natural gas and diesel fuel at the CenterPoint Intermodal Park at CenterPoint Way and Vetter Road. The developer plans to add a gas station and convenience store in the future. Thanas said a similar facility is being considered at the Rock Run Business Park off Houbolt Road.
An intergovernmental agreement with Will County that will enable Joliet to annex 245 acres that will become part of CenterPoint Intermodal Park. CenterPoint plans to use a barge terminal and rail access on the site for future development.
An intergovernmental agreement with Will County that swaps parking areas to allow for expanded commuter parking at the public transportation center being built downtown.
Zoning for a 10-car used-car dealership at 1003 S. Chicago St. McFarland and Councilwoman Jan Quillman objected to the car lot, saying it was not a good use for a spot considered an entryway to Joliet. But a special use zoning permit was approved by a vote of 8-2.