RANTOUL — The village board will be asked to approve the final plat for a subdivision of land that could be the site of a nearly 800,000-square-foot distribution center west of the village.
The name of the company and what would be distributed from the new plant has not been disclosed.
Members of the Rantoul Plan Commission this week unanimously approved a preliminary plat for the two-lot subdivision and recommended the final plat be approved by the village board.
Village Inspector Dan Culkin said the proposed distribution facility would span 792,000 square feet "with a future expansion (possible) of 428,000 square feet."
The two-lot subdivision would be located east of Evans Road, north of the current village limits and west of Interstate 57 on the Milton R. Ingleman Trust and Beth Kirchner Trust properties, east of the Jeld-Wen plant, which is in the village industrial park.
Village Attorney Ken Beth said the property is not within village limits, but it is contiguous.
"There is a proposed annexation agreement with the owners of this property that they will annex this property," Beth said.
As part of the annexation agreement, Beth said, the owners would seek to have both lots rezoned I-2 (industrial). Currently they are zoned agricultural.
Culkin said Lot 1 would encompass about 71 acres and would be the site of the distribution center, and lot 2 would be about 84 acres and would remain farmland, at least initially. An additional 5 acres would be dedicated for a street right of way.
"Lot 1 will be used for industrial, which is in line with our comprehensive plan," Culkin said.
He said construction of a new east-west street called Gravity Court Road off of Evans Road is also proposed and would include an 80-foot right of way. Culkin said village staff reviewed the project regarding easements, drainage and other plans, and recommended the plan commission approve the preliminary plat.
He said the project, which is being called Project Gravity, will be developed by Rantoul 57 Development Inc.
Asked by plan commission member Bonnie Moran why it is being called Project Gravity, Culkin said there is no significance in the name.
"I guess that's as good as any (name) at this time," Culkin said.
Asked by commission member Jeff Schlueter what would be distributed at the plant, Village Administrator Bruce Sandahl said that information can't be released at this time. Sandahl also said the number of employees can't be released.
Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Champaign, representing the land owners, told the commission that "at this point ... at this particular meeting, what we need to focus on ... are the horizontal issues dealing with the property, the subdivision, the platting."
He said discussions are ongoing with the state of Illinois regarding the development.
"We've got to work through some issues there, but we hope to be back soon before your community, and at that time we can disclose all of the relevant details and hopefully be part of the Rantoul, Illinois, community."