Industrial buildings proposed for former family farm in Vernon Hills

  • This is a rendering of one of four industrial buildings proposed by California-based Panattoni Development Co. for the Darling Farm in Vernon Hills. Village trustees will get their first look at the plan tonight.

    This is a rendering of one of four industrial buildings proposed by California-based Panattoni Development Co. for the Darling Farm in Vernon Hills. Village trustees will get their first look at the plan tonight. Courtesy of Vernon Hills

 
 
Posted12/10/2019 5:30 AM

Industrial buildings are being proposed for a former family farm in Vernon Hills that, despite its surroundings, has remained untouched by development.

Indeed, the 65-acre Darling Farm west of Milwaukee Avenue and south of Corporate Woods Parkway is the largest undeveloped property remaining in Vernon Hills.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The farm was one of six properties totaling 402 acres annexed to Vernon Hills in 1986. The parcel became largely surrounded by the Corporate Woods business park.

That landscape could change under a proposal by Irvine, California-based Panattoni Development Co. to build four buildings totaling more than 904,000 square feet for light industrial development.

As proposed, the buildings would be designed and built to accommodate industrial users for distribution, e-commerce, light manufacturing, headquarters and associated office uses, according to information provided to the village.

Company officials will present the plan to the village board during an informal committee-of-the-whole meeting following the regular board meeting beginning at 7 p.m. today at village hall, 290 Evergreen Drive.

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"It's what they think meets current market demand," said Mike Atkinson, the village's community development director.

The site would be subdivided into four lots for each building, with additional lots for stormwater detention. The largest building would be 356,160 square feet.

Atkinson said the buildings would be offered on a speculative basis and designed for a single user or multiple tenants of varying sizes.

Access to the property could be an issue because existing wetlands make it cost-prohibitive to connect directly to Milwaukee Avenue, Atkinson reported to the village board.

The plan is for a new road to connect Corporate Woods Parkway and Forest Edge Drive to allow access to two intersections with traffic signals on Milwaukee Avenue. Land acquisition would be needed, and an amendment to the Corporate Woods development plan may also be required, according to the village.

A market study commissioned by the village completed in February concluded there is no viable opportunity for retail on the Darling site, and industrial development would fit in the area.

The study by Melaniphy & Associates Inc. also said demand for industrial space in Vernon Hills exceeds the supply.

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