Black Voices

North Lawndale Residents Push Back Against Proposed Logistics Hub Amid Environmental, Traffic Concerns


North Lawndale Residents Push Back Against Proposed Logistics Hub Amid Environmental, Traffic Concerns

Developers are pumping the brakes on plans for a controversial logistics and distribution hub in North Lawndale.

It comes after residents pushed back on the plan, citing the environmental impact of the demolition and the health implications that could come with increased truck traffic.

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The project would also tear down two buildings preservationists said are historically significant to make way for the nearly 250,000-square-foot facility.

Although the proposal states future truck traffic would be “less than existing conditions,” Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd Ward) said developer IDI Logistics still hasn’t brought a plan that satisfies the needs of the community.

“The fact is, that we’ve agreed from the beginning, that transportation distribution logistics would not be a part of this development, taken out of development, and then work in good faith with my advisory committee to come up with a community benefits agreement,” Rodriguez said. “I hope that the developer would come back seriously with that kind of amended proposal that I think my community would be fine with.”

Adella Bass-Lawson is a health equity organizer at People for Community Recovery. She said although neighborhoods like North Lawndale have been the focus of environmental justice efforts, the work must go further.

“The cumulative impact has shed light on these communities,” Bass-Lawson said, “but also, we’re talking decades of cleanup. And having truck stops and other industry things like this come into these communities, it’s just adding fuel to the fire. I believe that it shouldn't continue.”

Bass-Lawson pointed to a survey that found more than 5,000 trucks passed through neighborhoods with industrial sites over a 24-hour period.

“We’re tired of being the community where these operators and these industry people and developers, we’re tired of living and dying at their financial gain,” Bass-Lawson said. “Enough is enough.”


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