Deal to redevelop AT&T campus could include a number of tax incentives

Hoffman Estates officials Monday will consider an agreement for the proposed redevelopment of the former AT&T campus that outlines a number of tax incentives the village is willing to consider without promising any.

Though the proposed 18-month agreement doesn't convey any rights to New Jersey-based Somerset Development, it acknowledges the village's understanding that some level of incentive may be necessary to redevelop the 1.6-million-square-foot buildings on the 150-acre site, Village Manager Jim Norris said.

"It's important to (Somerset) because they're making the decision to buy the property," he added.

Among the possibilities listed are a tax increment financing district, a Cook County Class 7B tax break, a rebate of a certain percentage of the Illinois Retailers' Occupation Tax, or consideration of incentives that would be available with passage of a still-pending state bill aimed at encouraging the redevelopment of such "Big Empties" as the site's two vacant buildings.

The state bill alone would consider such incentives as an income tax credit equal to 25 percent of a developer's investment, a tax exemption on the purchase of computer software for a project, and an abatement of up to half of a site's property tax.

Somerset Development hasn't yet requested any specific incentive, but its representatives say all possibilities remain under consideration.

The draft agreement will be reviewed by members of the village board acting as the planning, building & zoning committee at 7 p.m. May 7 at village hall, 1900 Hassell Road.

If recommended by the committee, it could be formally approved at the next village board meeting on Monday, May 14.

The May 14 meeting is also when the board will consider approval of the project's concept plan, recommended by an 8-0 vote of the planning and zoning commission earlier this week. The plan calls for 1.2 million square feet of offices, 60,000 square feet of retail shops and 80,000 square feet of conference space in the existing buildings, while new construction would add 375 apartments, 175 townhouse units and a 200-room hotel.

Barrington Unit District 220 officials have said they're cautiously optimistic about the concept plan as its number of residential units doesn't appear to be overwhelming for the schools. But whether the number of students who might live on the site outweighs the additional property tax the development generates will depend on whatever type of tax incentive the project may end up with, they added.

Hoffman Estates talking with New Jersey developer about AT&T campus

Offices, shops, apartments, hotel in plan for former AT&T campus

Hoffman Estates panel likes 'metroburb' concept for AT&T campus

The ongoing transformation of the former 2-million-square-foot Bell Labs building in Holmdel, New Jersey, into a commercial and residential community called Bell Works is the model for Somerset Development's concept plan for the redevelopment of the 1.6-million-square-foot former AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates. Courtesy of Somerset Development
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