Warehouse developer backs out of Elk Grove Township plan

  • The Roppolo residential subdivision in unincorporated Elk Grove Township will remain intact after plans for a trucking warehouse were scrapped recently. The project developer, fearing protracted litigation, backed out, Elk Grove Village officials said.

      The Roppolo residential subdivision in unincorporated Elk Grove Township will remain intact after plans for a trucking warehouse were scrapped recently. The project developer, fearing protracted litigation, backed out, Elk Grove Village officials said. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2019

  • A sketch shows the light industrial building that was proposed for the southern portion of the Roppolo subdivision in unincorporated Elk Grove Township. But the developer withdrew after nearby residents and businesses filed suit.

    A sketch shows the light industrial building that was proposed for the southern portion of the Roppolo subdivision in unincorporated Elk Grove Township. But the developer withdrew after nearby residents and businesses filed suit. Courtesy of Logistics Property Co.

 
 
Posted2/17/2020 5:40 AM

A developer's plan to build a warehouse next to houses in Elk Grove Township is dead after a lawsuit filed by a group of residents and businesses was settled.

Logistics Property Co. had proposed building the $27.4 million, 210,400-square-foot trucking warehouse on an 11.5-acre site north of Landmeier Road and east of Roppolo Avenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The company got 23 homeowners in the unincorporated Roppolo subdivision to agree to sell their houses to make way for the project, which also earned the endorsement of the Elk Grove Village board for subsequent rezoning and annexation in September.

But the suit, brought in August by homeowners and businesses north and west of where the warehouse would be built, was dismissed after a settlement agreement was reached in December.

"They backed out," said Dawn Jablonski, president of the Community Council of Roppolo and Richard, the neighborhood group that brought the lawsuit. "They didn't wanna challenge us in court."

Logistics officials confirmed they are no longer pursuing the project but declined to answer questions about the apparent change of heart.

"We're no longer involved in the Roppolo Assemblage," Aaron Martell, the company's executive vice president, said in a statement.

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The village's previous approvals for the project are now moot.

"It was set to go, but because of the potential protracted litigation, our understanding is the developer did not want to go down that path," Mayor Craig Johnson said.

Jablonski believes her community group's strongest legal argument was a 1957 land covenant that says only single-family houses can be built within the Roppolo subdivision, which has been left unscathed amid growing commercial and industrial uses bordering it in Elk Grove Village The suit stipulated that five of the 23 houses Logistics had under contract were bound by that covenant.

Logistics officials previously said they didn't view the covenant as "valid, enforceable, or relevant."

The lawsuit also pointed to an easement that gives property owners access along Richard Lane to and from Landmeier Road.

A portion of Richard Lane, a private road, would have been eliminated if the warehouse were built.

One of the businesses that uses that road is AGG Properties LLC, 750 Richard Lane, which was named as a plaintiff in the suit along with Jablonski and neighbor Heather Maldonado. According to state records, AGG is controlled by developer Mario Gullo, who is engaged in a separate annexation lawsuit with Elk Grove Village.

Gullo, head of George Gullo Development Corp., filed suit against the village a year ago to block a forcible annexation of unincorporated properties he owns along Higgins Avenue.

Johnson has publicly accused Gullo of being behind a series of anonymous robocalls and campaign-style mailers that have come amid a March 17 term limits referendum that could remove the longtime mayor from office. Gullo has denied the charges.

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