Jefferson Street retail project ‘jeopardized’
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org October 9, 2013 9:19PM
Updated: November 11, 2013 12:28PM
The plan to bring Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill to Jefferson Street could be in trouble, according to Joliet officials.
The Illinois Department of Transportation wants the developers to pay for changes at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Caterpillar Drive, said Jim Haller, the city’s economic development director.
“The cost of some of the things IDOT was looking at jeopardizes the project,” Haller said Tuesday at a meeting of the city council’s economic development committee.
Haller later said that the costs could amount to $200,000.
The retail project is proposed for the former site of Joliet Dodge, which had a traffic light at its entrance where Caterpillar meets Jefferson. But that entrance, which Haller said was probably built in the late 1960s, does not line up exactly with Caterpillar Drive.
Haller said IDOT wants the developers to rebuild the curb entry to line up with Caterpillar Drive and make other intersection improvements.
Mayor Thomas Giarrante said a meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 21 for state officials, city representatives and the developers to try to work out a resolution.
The developers are Jerry and Matt Cairo, a father and son team that also developed the southeast corner of Jefferson and Caterpillar that includes a Starbucks.
The city council last week approved the plan for the Cairos’ project, which also includes an Aldi grocery store and space for another retailer or restaurant. Aldi would move from its existing Jefferson Street site.