Hillside Light Manufacturing Development Heats Up As Westchester Proposal Fizzles Out

The 13 acres of land next to CarMax dubbed Wolf Point 290 in Hillside. | File

Friday, July 15, 2022 || By Michael Roman || @maywoodnews

A plan to build a light manufacturing and warehouse complex on 13 acres of land in Hillside is heating up just as a developer’s plan to build a light manufacturing complex in nearby Westchester has fizzled.

Representatives with Newcastle Partners, LP, which owns the massive site located just west of CarMax at 101 N. Wolf Rd. in Hillside, briefed Hillside’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) about the proposal at a meeting on June 14.

Newcastle has partnered with developer Panattoni Developments Company, Inc. on the project, which would include the construction of a “single or multi-tenant user facility for e-commerce, light manufacturing, light assembly, warehouse and distribution uses,” according to ZBA agenda.

Cushman and Wakefield, the commercial real estate firm, is helping to market the site, which has been dubbed Wolf Point 290 for its close proximity to the expressway.

According to marketing materials available online, over 15,000 vehicles pass the site each day by way of I-290. The 13-acre site can accommodate up to 200,000-square-feet of commercial space and on-site parking.

A Hillside village official said that there was no vote taken at the June 14 meeting. The plan will eventually have to go back before the ZBA for a formal vote before it heads to the Hillside village board for consideration.

Attempts to contact representatives with Cushman, Newcastle and Panattoni on July 14 were unsuccessful.

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Meanwhile, a proposal by IDI Logistics, a private real estate investment trust based in Atlanta, to build a community center and two 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facilities on the site of the old St. Joseph High School, 10900 W. Cermak Rd. in Westchester, is officially dead in the water.

On July 15, Greg Hribal, Westchester’s acting village manager, released a statement informing village officials that the developer has formally withdrawn their zoning application ahead of a zoning board hearing scheduled for July 18.

The proposal had prompted considerable pushback from residents and village officials since it was first presented in January.

Most people who expressed opposition to the plan said they were concerned about the impact the project would have on their property values ​​and the potential for pollution caused by a light manufacturing company.

Unlike the Hillside site, which is within a planned shopping center district and near a general business district, the old St. Joe’s High School sits within an area zoned for single-family residences.

In the village board’s conceptual review report, village officials said that “proposed industrial use including without limitation manufacturing/warehousing buildings is not appropriate for the area as the area is currently zoned R-1 [single family residential] and there are single-family homes and an elementary school surrounding the property.”

Westchester village officials added that the proposed development “is not appropriate as it would create unnecessary traffic congestion, air and noise pollution from various vehicles and trucks creating health risks for the local residents, and an overall negative impact on the surrounding properties.”

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