Residents are concerned as logistics centers move closer to their neighborhoods, pushing back against noise and pollution.

Jeremy Baker, a resident of the Thorngate community in Riverwoods, raised concerns over the transformation of an office campus next to his subdivision into a warehouse and logistics center. The plan, proposed by industrial developer Bridge Industrial, would have resulted in hundreds of trucks operating in the area. As a result of the opposition from Baker and other residents, the plan was ultimately withdrawn by Baxter International, who chose to keep using the office campus as its headquarters instead.

This incident exemplifies the growing conflict between residential communities and industrial developers seeking to build logistics facilities close to densely populated neighborhoods. North suburban residents have made it clear that they are not opposed to all development projects, but prefer that municipal, state, and county officials work together to designate more appropriate locations for these operations.

The rise of hybrid work has led to a decrease in demand for office space, resulting in widespread redevelopment of office campuses into industrial and logistics facilities. However, finding suitable locations for these developments, particularly in developed areas like Lake County, remains a challenge. As a result, developers need to carefully consider the impact their projects will have on nearby residents and develop a thoughtful approach to garner community support.

Residents of Thorngate organized themselves, lobbied via social media, and held public meetings to voice their concerns, ultimately leading to the withdrawal of the proposed industrial development. This demonstrates the power of community organizing in influencing local development decisions. The controversy also underscores the need for constructive dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders to find solutions that benefit both the communities and the developers.

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