CARY – With the OK from the Cary Village Board on Tuesday night, Sage Projects can move forward with its planned expansion on the 27-acres to the east of its current property.
The board unanimously approved rezoning the vacant property from a shopping center business district to a business park district. Sage’s purchase of the land was contingent on the zoning change and the closure of Sage Parkway, which was approved in October.
While the project plans to add about 350 jobs by 2021 when the full expansion is built out, some residents in the surrounding neighborhoods have voiced concerns with how closing Sage Parkway and the addition would affect traffic, safety, noise, air quality and property values.
“I think if we would’ve had enough time to talk to people, they would understand there could be more modifications made at least, because this thing is way too big for Cary,” Cary resident Barbara Berthold said.
Mayor Mark Kownick said a petition submitted Tuesday afternoon included signatures from 23 Danbury Drive residents opposed to rezoning the property.
Others, such as Cary resident David Miller, noted the modifications Sage had made to its original plan by adding a private driveway for trucks leaving the property to the east and exiting on Georgetown Drive.
“There’s going be something on that property no matter what,” Miller said. “Whether it’s going to be tall buildings or big buildings, but either way you’re going to have truck traffic. I think we have a good partner with Sage. … They’ve been a great supporter of the village.”
Sage President Scott Brown said he appreciated how the process for the expansion had been handled by the village.
“We’ve learned an incredible amount, and as you know, have tried to be a good neighbor for decades now,” Brown said. “And it’s our intent to go forward and continue that relationship.”
The first phase of the project will include building a 200,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution expansion with relocated shipping docks and added parking, according to plans presented by village staff. The new warehouse and current building, at 3909 Three Oaks Road, would be connected through a hallway.
Brown said the initial connection is necessary before the additional 610,000-square-foot expansion is built so goods can be transported between buildings. Sage Products creates medical products that help prevent infections and injuries in hospitals, according to its website.
“We’ll never make a decision that makes everybody happy,” Trustee David Chapman said before the ‘yes’ vote was made. “But what we have to do is try and find the best common ground that we can to make the town better for everybody.”
Village Administrator Chris Clark said construction is expected to start in the first half of 2017.
“At the end of it, the board made the decision to provide the approvals for one of the largest economic development projects in McHenry County in likely the last 15 years,” Clark said Wednesday. “It’s a big step for the Cary community.”