BOURBONNAIS — The Bourbonnais Village Board gave approval Monday for the preliminary plat of a three-lot commercial subdivision which will include a Road Ranger travel center on the Bourbonnais Parkway.
The travel center is planned for an 11-acre lot on the southwest side of the Interstate 57 interchange at Exit 318.
The three lots in the subdivision add up to about 30 acres in total, located on the south side of the parkway between Route 45/52 (North Convent Street) and the I-57 interchange.
Mayor Paul Schore said developments for the other two lots in the subdivision are to yet be determined.
The developer, Jennings Realty of Chicago, should begin work on bringing infrastructure to the subdivision later this year, he said.
The area is in need of a storm sewer and detention pond, sanitary system, water access, sidewalks and a new public roadway.
At a finance committee meeting earlier this year, the developer asked trustees for $1.5 million in tax increment financing funds to be used for the infrastructure work. The money would be paid back in an estimated three to five years through sales and gaming tax revenues, project representatives said.
The developer would likely look to break ground on the travel center later this year as well, weather permitting, Schore said.
All together, there are about 180 undeveloped acres at that intersection, he added.
“I think it’s a good stop for a travel plaza like that,” Schore said. “It will be easy to get on and off and go directly to it. We won’t have a lot of truck traffic going in and out of town to get there.”
Schore said village officials have visited other Road Ranger locations and were impressed by the facilities.
“They build a very nice facility, very well lit, well organized,” he said. “We look forward to them being business partners for a number of years.”
Project representatives also said at a previous meeting that Road Ranger plans to invest between $9 million and $10 million in the project and employ between 60 and 70 full-time workers.
Plans for the travel center include fuel service areas for automobiles and semi-tractor trailers. There would be a convenience store that includes food services.
The travel center would become the third located in Kankakee County.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the board approved a special-use permit for the village to construct a public parking lot on the northwest corner of the intersection of Main and Coyne streets.
The lot will include 24 parking spaces which will be open for public use, with the intention to help the restaurant currently at that location, Mi Casa Mexican, and improve safety and access around the location.
Schore said the project is similar to the public lot that went behind Beggar’s Pizza.
“You have to have enough parking for businesses to survive, and this will [help] that particular business there to have a better drive-thru situation and not so much of a traffic backup trying to use that driveway,” he said.