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updated: 5/14/2018 4:10 PM

Wheeling lukewarm about plan for trucking transportation center

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Wheeling village board members are split on a developer's idea to build a trucking transportation center off Wolf Road northwest of Chicago Executive Airport.

JV Global Services, which already operates a truck parking facility at 150 Abbot Drive, is proposing a facility to handle truck parking, logistics, light maintenance and storage for several companies on about 8.3 acres on Wolf Road at Kerry Lane. The location would serve trucking fleets for two businesses in Wheeling -- Richelieu Foods and Alex Logistics -- and a third undetermined company.

"This is a new concept in the way fleet is managed and operated," said Michael Blue, a consultant for Teska Associates Inc., which is representing JV Global Services. "It's also a way to coordinate and consolidate and not have these things happen in an ad hoc manner."

The development would include enough parking for 145 trucks and a 13,000-square-foot facility with office and storage space.

Village board members were divided 3-3 last week on whether they would support the proposal should the developer return with an official application. Trustees David Vogel, Mary Papantos and Mary Krueger opposed the idea, while trustees Ray Lang, Ken Brady and Pat Horcher supported it. Trustee Joe Vito was absent.

The discussion last Monday was not an official action but rather intended to give the developers feedback on the concept.

"In this day and age of the internet and Amazon, I think this is going to become quite the thing of the future," Brady said. "I don't think this is a bad project. It certainly cleans up a nice area along Wolf (Road). But it needs a lot of work. The layout is horrible."

Concerns about the project included increased truck traffic that could cause additional roadway congestion and damage to streets, as well as a single exit and entrance for the property.

Only Village President Pat Horcher indicated that he would support the project with tax dollars, though not as much as the developer is seeking. The company requested $1.8 million in tax-increment financing dollars for the estimated $6.8 million development.

The village staff recommended offering no TIF funding, saying the project wouldn't greatly increase the property value or create a significant number of jobs. A TIF counts on increased property value to generate taxes above a frozen amount that would go into the development rather than local governments.

"Village staff has had questions whether the JV Global project actually meets those goals and objectives set forth in the redevelopment project area and redevelopment plan," Economic Development Director John Melaniphy said. "Economic development staff always envisioned light manufacturing uses on these sites and a higher employment concentration."

Melaniphy did commend the company for assembling the properties in order to create a piece of land that can be developed. If trustees did offer an incentive, the village staff recommended that be limited to the cost of extending the sewer line onto the property, a value of about $480,000.

Wheeling attorney Al Stavros, who's representing JV Global Services, warned trustees against potentially nixing a project intended to help two growing companies.

"The question you have to ask yourself is would you want these tenants in Wheeling to have to relocate their businesses elsewhere?" he said. "Or, would you like to accommodate their needs?"