Cullinan Properties’ CEO has emphasized his company’s commitment to building the 265-acre Rock Run Crossings.
“We’re very bullish on the project. We’re not looking back,” Chris West told the Joliet City Council on Monday.
West answered questions about the uncertain retail environment and expressed confidence in progress toward more than $200 million in road improvements – including a new Interstate 55 interchange – that would come with the project.
Cullinan Properties plans to build a mixed-use development that would include retail, restaurants, entertainment, offices and residences.
West described the future Rock Run Crossings as a “24/7 environment” that will combine living, working, dining and shopping in the northeast corner of Interstates 55 and 80.
He said Rock Run Crossings will not duplicate a traditional mall and will provide attractions that Amazon cannot replicate. Restaurants will be a big part of the appeal, and Rock Run Crossings will be a regional draw, West said.
“Rock Run Crossings the way we envision it is the gateway to Chicago – the gateway to Joliet, Shorewood and Will County,” he said.
Cullinan recently has said it expects first openings at Rock Run Crossings by fall 2020. The company has not started construction but is preparing to demolish vacant buildings on the site.
The company has not announced any prospective tenants, which West said was because of confidentiality agreements.
But he said announcements could be made in the coming months.
Comments from Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and the council were enthusiastic.
“You called it a game-changer.
I agree,” O’Dekirk said.
Calling the site “a prime location in Joliet,” O’Dekirk said the city has resisted attempts to develop it for trucking and logistics operations.
Paying for road improvements – which would include a new interchange at I-55 and Route 59, improved east-west routes to Houbolt Road and an expansion of Jefferson Street between Houbolt and River roads in Shorewood – still is a problem.
West mentioned “great progress in the last year” and “a lot of work behind the scenes” on the infrastructure plans.
The council approved a resolution Monday to pursue a $25 million federal grant for the road improvements.