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Channahon logistics center possibly in the works

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 9:38 p.m. CDT

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CHANNAHON – A new logistics center may be in the works for the northeast corner of the Bluff Road and Interstate 55 interchange in Channahon.

According to the village’s Director of Community Development Mike McMahon, Industrial Developments International, IDI, has 118 acres of farmland under contract at the location and is proposing to construct a more than 2 million-square-foot industrial/logistics center on the property.

Village staff and trustees discussed the center at Monday’s special workshop meeting.

The Channahon Corporate Center would consist of four buildings constructed over 10 years. Village water and sewer would need to be brought in to the property, and improvements would be required at the interchange for development to proceed. McMahon said funding for the improvements could be achieved through a combination of property tax abatements, recaptures and village revenues.

The village and IDI have been working for months on how to achieve the improvements, McMahon said, and the firm has agreed to have studies done and a plan prepared for the interchange improvements, traffic, the water main extension and civil engineering.

Changes at the interchange would include separate turn lanes on both off ramps, left-turn lanes on Bluff Road, traffic signals, and improvements to both frontage road intersections.

The cost of the interchange improvements and the water main extension would total $4.2 million and could be funded through the issuance of 15-year general obligation bonds by the village. McMahon explained the annual debt could be covered in a few ways.

One way would be from property tax revenue from the new buildings. The proposal on the table, should the schools and park district agree, would be to give a 100 percent tax abatement to the first building for the first year, then a 50 percent abatement for the following nine years.

The other three buildings would be given a full abatement the first year, then a 50 percent abatement the following four years.

McMahon said a recapture of $1.13 million on several acres could also contribute to paying the debt.

“For the first few years,” McMahon said, “there will be a deficit, and the village will need to cover the deficit until it starts making money. It’s an investment in the future.”

The financial hardship of the short-term would be worth if for the future revenue the development would generate, he said.

“Once the Channahon Corporate Center is built out and fully assessed, it will generate approximately $2.3 million of property tax revenue to all the taxing jurisdictions annually,” he stated in a memo to trustees. “The village of Channahon’s portion would be approximately $200,000.”

Other benefits would include bringing water and sewer to land east of the interstate and easier highway access for trucks and cars getting on and off I-55.

In other news, although the board took no action at the meeting, trustees agreed that sewer fees should increase to make up for a recurring deficit. There is currently a $487,000 deficit in the fund, with a $658,000 deficit projected. Finance Director Bob Guess said, the village has only about a thousand users on village sewer.

Fees already automatically increase by 3 percent a year, Guess said, and increasing that to 5 percent would help the fund. The increase would raise users’ payments by an average of $3.70 per month. Trustees gave staff the go-ahead to prepare the ordinance for the change.

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