Rosemont scraps plans for new police HQ and village hall, buys building to move to instead

Rosemont officials are scrapping plans for a new separate village hall and public safety department headquarters, deciding instead to buy and renovate a shuttered office building near the theater and outlet mall.

The decision by the village board Monday to purchase the four-story, 121,000-square-foot former Cisco Systems building at 9501 Technology Blvd. was prompted by rising construction cost estimates.

The envisioned single-story, 101,000-square-foot cop shop on a plot of land north of the Allstate Arena was estimated to cost $35 million to $40 million, while the new three-story, 54,000-square-foot village hall on a parking lot in the The Pearl District was priced at $45 million, officials said.

The village is buying the vacant Cisco building for $13 million and expects to spend $17 million on build-out costs.

By deciding to change course, officials expect savings of about $50 million.

"It's a beautiful building. It's Gold LEED-certified," Mayor Brad Stephens said of the Cisco building. "We looked at buying this once before and passed because we thought we could do it for cheaper, and we couldn't, especially when construction pricing went through the roof."

At the same time, Rosemont already has spent millions on architectural design fees with two firms to draw plans for what was intended to be a new village hall and public safety headquarters. In recent years the village also bought about 20 light industrial buildings near the arena - often, at $350,000 a pop - and cleared them to make way for the new police facility.

For now, that empty land will serve as additional parking for the village-owned stadium. So, too, will parking lots remain where the new village hall was intended at The Pearl, the 16-acre mixed-use complex that opened in 2018 south of Balmoral Avenue and west of the Tri-State Tollway.

The village has to be out of its current home at 9501 W. Devon Ave. by June 2024, under terms of the $3.8 million sale to Northfield-based Saxony Properties earlier this year.

At the new building - left vacant when Cisco moved to Chicago's Old Post Office last year - the village plans to house its combined police and fire headquarters on three floors, taking up about half the space in the building. Stephens said a shooting range and training space will be built as an addition to the public works facility on Barry Street, across the street from where the public safety headquarters was originally planned.

Municipal offices will go on the fourth floor at Technology Drive, with a boardroom, business innovation center and Rosemont history section on the first floor. The statue of founding Mayor Donald E. Stephens - now in the courtyard of the current village hall on Devon - likely will be placed inside the lobby of the new building, according to his son, the current mayor.

A number of tenants at the Rosemont office building on Devon - such as law firms that do work for the village including Ryan & Ryan; Storino, Ramello & Durkin; and Donahue & Rose - plan to rent space at the new village hall, Stephens said.

The architects plan to modify their previous proposals to design the planned interior upgrades, but the mayor said much of the infrastructure is in place, from electricity to heating/cooling systems and elevators to bathrooms.

A closing on the sale is scheduled for Oct. 15, with a move-in planned for a year from now.

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