A real estate group wants to build a technology park at Busse Farm in Elk Grove Village, one that's being called a potentially $1 billion development that would be a major boon for the region.
Brennan Investment Group presented plans Tuesday for the Elk Grove Technology Park on 85 acres between East Higgins Road and Oakton Street on the north side of the village. The undeveloped farmland -- in unincorporated Cook County but surrounded by the village -- has long been alluring to developers, even twice considered as a site for the Chicago Bears football stadium.
Michael Brennan, the chairman and managing principal of the Rosemont-based investment group, said companies specializing in robotic, digital and automated manufacturing technology, as well as data storage centers, would be in the park. The park is intended to fill demand as the automated manufacturing industry experiences a "renaissance" across the country, Brennan said.
"Nobody has decided to build anything like this in scale," he said. "We'll be the first one to have a park dedicated to that."
Brennan and Mayor Craig Johnson said the investment in the full development -- with buildings, infrastructure, ponds and more -- once it's all built out could reach $1 billion.
The property, owned by the Busse family since the 1800s, could be sold later this year, and construction would start by spring 2018.
In the first phase, with a $150 million investment, the developer wants to build four speculative buildings -- buildings that would be constructed with buyers to come later -- along Higgins Road with a combined 500,000 square feet of space, and two sites for commercial development such as retail stores, restaurants or a hotel.
Plans also include wide pedestrian paths, ponds, water fountains and artwork throughout the technology park.
"This is not just about business -- it's about the community," Brennan said. "This is something the community can enjoy."
The south side of the property along Oakton Street would be developed later with up to 700,000 square feet of space as companies locate in the village.
"This is not just a shot in the arm," Mayor Craig Johnson said. "This is a rocket in the arm to get us going."
The village and investment group have been working quietly on the development for the past two years, though the mayor hinted at the prospect during his State of the Village speech in May.
Progress is already being made to annex the unincorporated property. Along with plans to close on the sale of the property with the Busse family, five homes along Stanley Street on the west end of the property, and industrial business on Lively Boulevard on the east side are under contract to be sold.
Additionally, the village plans to demolish a fire station and training facility at the corner of Oakton Street and Lively Boulevard and sell the property. As part of the village's $100 million capital improvement program, operations at the fire station and another station at 1655 Greenleaf Ave. will be combined into a new facility along the Busse Road corridor.
With the village's industrial park is already at a historically low vacancy rate of 3.3 percent, the technology park will boost the village even further, Johnson said.
"We truly believe this can be a catalyst to take us to the highest level possible," Johnson said.