CenterPoint has second lawsuit against Joliet
Developer alleges delays and denial for its own plans as city gave green light to NorthPoint
By Bob Okon
September 04, 2022 at 6:26 pm CDT
CenterPoint Properties has filed a second lawsuit against Joliet alleging that the City Council acted “in retribution” in May when it denied zoning for further development of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center.
The retribution was linked to CenterPoint’s opposition to the controversial NorthPoint Development project, CenterPoint alleges.
The lawsuit filed in August lists delays and finally denial of CenterPoint’s requested zoning as the developer filed objections to the controversial NorthPoint project, which was proceeding through city approvals at the same time.
CenterPoint contends that the NorthPoint plans approved by the city violate its 2008 annexation agreement and a memorandum of understanding put in place before CenterPoint launched a joint venture to build the $130 million Houbolt Road bridge over the Des Plaines River now under construction.
CenterPoint filed a lawsuit, May 9, seeking to block the NorthPoint project because of the alleged violations of the memorandum of understanding concerning the Houbolt Road bridge project.
A week later, the City Council voted 7-1 against the CenterPoint’s proposal for continued development along Brandon Road.
Prior to that, the CenterPoint plan was stalled by the Plan Commission as that body requested traffic studies that had already been submitted to the city, according to the second lawsuit filed Aug. 10.
CenterPoint in the lawsuit alleges that the council vote was “undertaken in bad faith” and that it “bears no relationship to any legislative purpose.”
Joliet Deputy City Attorney Chris Regis said the city would address the second lawsuit as it is the prior one from CenterPoint.
“Those items were presented to the City Council, and they voted how they voted,” Regis said of the council vote on May 17. “It’s in their purview to vote things up or down, and they voted it down.”
The lawsuit notes that city staff recommended approval of the Brandon Road development. It also states that CenterPoint had a consistent record of city approvals before it registered objections to the NorthPoint project.
NorthPoint’s Third Coast Intermodal Hub is being developed on the borders of the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. The NorthPoint project relies on roads inside the CenterPoint Intermodal Center to gain access to intermodal yards in Joliet and Elwood. The plan also proposes use of the Houbolt Road bridge.
CenterPoint is seeking a jury trial and a court order stating that the City Council acted in retribution and requiring the city to take actions to approve the Brandon Road development.
The legal fight against NorthPoint Development goes on even as the developer moves ground this summer for its future Third Coast Intermodal Hub. NorthPoint began construction in late June in Joliet with four lawsuits pending in Will County Court aimed at stopping or impeding the developer’s plan to build its 2,300-acre logistics park stretching from Joliet to Elwood.... Read more →