Hawk Auto looks to add 4 dealerships to Plainfield – The Herald-News

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Hawk Auto is moving ahead with final engineering and site design plans for a property just north of Rolf Road on the east side of Route 59 that would bring four Hawk Auto dealerships to the location.

The plan includes moving Hawk’s Cadillac and Volkswagen dealership out Joliet where they are now.

The Plainfield Village Board gave its approval to the plans earlier this month.

The new Hawk Auto location would contain four separate buildings, each containing a separate dealership with buildings ranging in size from 16,900 to 28,700 square feet.

Hawk Auto currently operates nine other dealerships in the region, including Mazda and Subaru dealerships at a Joliet location on Route 59 and not far from the new Plainfield site.

John Crane, president and part-owner of the Hawk Auto Group, said Wednesday that he needs more space for his Volkswagen operation.

“We just need a larger place,” Crane said. “We’ve grown the business quite a bit.”

The Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership on Jefferson Street will be converted completely to a Chevrolet operation, he said.

“Chevrolet is going to stay where it’s at,” Crane said, adding that he plans to convert the space now used for Cadillac to Corvette sales.

Hawk hopes to break ground on the Plainfield site later this year, according to Jake Melrose, economic development director with the Village of Plainfield.

Melrose said last year Hawk Auto sought rezoning of 20 acres of the 89-acre property.

At the end of February, the Plainfield Committee as a Whole, an informal workshop of the village president and Board of Trustees, discussed details of the proposal with representatives from Hawk Auto’s design team on hand to answer questions.

During that meeting, there was a discussion regarding updated changes to the plan proposal in terms of landscaping, lighting, and stormwater management based on concerns from nearby residents.

The plan was amended to include a 60-foot landscape buffer with a three-foot high heavily landscaped berm and a six-foot cedar fence on the southern border of the property.

In addition, based on a recommendation from the village staff, Hawk Auto decreased the lighting in multiple areas and added shields on the lighting in the rear of the development, Melrose said.

“The lighting goes straight down and not toward residential areas,” he said.

Now the stormwater management will be located adjacent to the residential area as opposed to the north side of the property to “provide a good buffer” to the residential area and provide a natural flow for runoff, Melrose said.

Plainfield Village Trustee Richard Kiefer, who first saw the concept plan of the development when he was part of the Plainfield Village Planning Commission, said, “When this first came up a lot of the residents in the nearby area were concerned with issues of stormwater management, lighting, and shielding.”

“This is a good example of a project that worked well with staff and the applicant to benefit a lot of the stakeholders,” he added.

Based on the plan, the dealerships will have three access points for the site placed evenly along Route 59.

The southern and northern access points will be right-in/right-out, while the middle access is a full access with a lane for ingress and a right and left turn lane for egress with a proposed signalized intersection.

A new left turn in the southbound lane will be constructed in accordance with Illinois Department of Transportation standards.

Hawk Auto is also seeking a traffic signal, which will be determined by IDOT.

“Earlier in the year I mentioned that we had a high expectation for commercial development in the village and this is the next step,” said Plainfield Village Administrator Joshua Blakemore. “This is very exciting times in Plainfield.”

Reporter Bob Okon contributed to this story.

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