Schaumburg developing new economic development plan to address post-pandemic shifts

Creating a three-year economic development strategic plan to succeed Schaumburg's pandemic recovery plan, adopted in June 2020, is but one component of the $311 million annual budget village trustees unanimously approved.

Though the past year has been a record-breaking one for the village's consumer tax revenues, administrators have acknowledged that the decline in Schaumburg's daytime office population caused by remote working has been the weak spot in its economy.

While that economy remains the second largest in Illinois after the city of Chicago's, village officials intend to forge a plan to better capitalize on a changed working world.

As just one particularly high-profile example, Zurich North America in October 2016 moved 3,000 employees from its two 20-story towers near Woodfield Mall to an equally iconic 783,800-square-foot building along the I-90 tollway on a corner of the former Motorola campus.

But legal action currently exists between Schaumburg and Zurich regarding incentives included in the company's redevelopment agreement, which were based on there being more business traffic generated by the building, Village Attorney Lance Malina said.

Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said the village's interpretation of the agreement is that those workers would be on site five days a week, not just based there.

"I think we're slowly starting to see more employees coming back to the office on a regular basis," Frank added.

According to a written statement from Zurich North America on Tuesday, the company has endeavored to maintain its intended role in Schaumburg's business community while offering some work flexibility for its employees.

"Zurich North America employees come into the office on a regular basis, and the number of Zurich North America employees assigned to the Schaumburg HQ remains largely unchanged since we moved into the building in 2016," the statement reads. "Even prior to that relocation, we offered employees the option to balance the conveniences of remote work with regularly scheduled time in the office. We're pleased that our approach of accommodating different employee working styles while encouraging collaboration, efficiency and engagement has been working well."

Frank said the envisioned plan would generally inventory the varieties of office space in the village and assess their potential options for repurposing if needed.

The newly approved village budget projects revenues of $312.4 million to balance its costs over the next year. But the current budget year is estimated to end this weekend with a $15.75 million surplus in the general fund.

Proposed $311 million Schaumburg budget funds road work, tree replacement

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