After approving a 236-acre project featuring homes and retail along Laraway Road in 2005, New Lenox is hopeful the Village Station plans could be revived.
On Tuesday, village planning administrator Robin Ellis learned that New Lenox's project was accepted through a Regional Transit Authority plan that aims to implement transit-oriented developments, which are essentially commercial and residential projects near transportation hubs.
In this case, the Metra station off Laraway and Cedar roads is the hub, and the empty land surrounding it is what could be developed.
"I'm excited," Ellis said. "Hopefully we'll see some results."
The Village Station plan was adopted by the Village Board in March 2005, and later that year the Laraway Metra station opened. The plan called for a mix of housing types, including condos, townhomes and single-family homes, as well as about 50 acres of commercial development.
The area covers empty land along Laraway Road, on both sides of Cedar, as well as 80 acres at the southeast corner of that intersection.
"It was a really nice place," trustee Annette Bowden said, recalling the plans. "It had a lot of diversity."
Ellis said that in about 2008, a developer put a contract on the property but was later foreclosed on. Silver Cross owns the bulk of the property, Ellis said.
Because of the housing market crash, the plans never went anywhere. The Metra lot usually only has a couple dozen cars parked there, and the land is growing plants and not homes.
With this latest approval by the RTA, though, the village could receive help finding a new developer. The RTA program provides developer recruitment and solicitation.