The city's Planning and Zoning Commission said it can support a proposal, with few conditions, for the operation of an auto recycling facility in the old Celotex complex at 660 N. Kankakee St.
The commission heard petitioner Ryan Boswell's conceptual plan for the proposed Island City Auto Recyclers and Island City Storage at its regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 6.
Boswell, of Wilmington, is purchasing the property, which lies just south of Forked Creek. There are three buildings on the site, which is zoned light industrial - the two on the east side, at 40,000 square feet, are connected, the third, 28,000 square foot building runs behind them, is separate and has a connecting passageway. The site does not include the bare foundations of the former Celotex production line along Chicago Street nor lots west of the buildings near the Kankakee River.
The property has been the subject of an estate contest, which was settled last week, and has been released for sale, according to Boswell's attorney, Eric Hanson of Mahoney, Silverman and Cross. The city's planning staff notes that the buildings are essentially abandoned, and that there are signs of vandalism. The proposed project could improve the aesthetics of the property and minimize future degradation of the site.
Island City Storage would occupy the larger buildings. Boswell will offer cold storage for boats, recreational vehicles, campers, semi trucks, classic cars, snowmobiles and other vehicles.
City officials have asked for a discounted rate for Wilmington residents, believing that providing a storage solution will encourage residents to put their toys away.
Boswell plans to use the back building for auto recycling, which is the part of the plan the commission focused upon.
"We're not talking about salvage, we're not talking about crushing or anything like that. I want to make sure we're clear on that - we're not talking about a junk yard," Hanson said.
For details about Boswell's plan, and the commission's concerns about the project, read the print and online edition of the Feb. 12, 2014 Free Press Advocate.