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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Woodridge's Clarke: 'We all know the commercial market right now is pretty challenging'

The Village Board of Trustees approved a large-scale amendment to a preexisting unit development plan for a U-Haul facility in Woodridge. The location is at 7300 Woodward and is within the Centerpointe Shopping Center.

One of the shopping district's major staples vacated the premises in 2017, leaving a spot measured at 176,376 square feet that U-Haul wishes to take. Several other major stores in the area have also recently left. U-Haul plans to use 139,376 square feet for vehicles and containers, with the remaining 37,000 set for later use.

U-Haul would also allow for the rental and usage of its trucks from the facility, with possible plans for outdoor storage. In addition to the extra parking and loading spaces in front of the building, it would also have garage doors into the facility.

The board was told U-Haul has conducted studies ensuring that the amount of traffic in the area will not reach higher levels with the expected increased vehicular traffic from the business, and its trucks of all sizes would have adequate space to maneuver around the facility. All of the operations besides truck storage would be allowed by the current shopping district zoning, and the petitioner has asked for a special use permit through the planned unit development (PUD) for storage usage.

"In general, it's commercial use. We all know the commercial market right now is pretty challenging, especially with large footprints such as this," Director of Community Development Kimberly Clarke said. "But there is a retail component to this that will hopefully also add some additional sales tax to the area. We emphasized maintenance of the use and the property and then also the site will be redeveloped, which we know since 2017 it has been sitting here vacant. So we believe it is meeting some of the intentions of the comprehensive plan."

The Woodridge Planning and Zoning Committee reviewed the proposal and by a 3-2 vote recommended denying the request based on concerns surrounding traffic and storage aesthetics in the area.

The village board approved the motion while stating that an amendment shall be made confirming that additional signage for traffic would be installed and that the flow of traffic would be reviewed after 90 days, and then 180 days, to see if any additional signs or changes need to be made.

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