As conference expands, Big Ten plans to add office space in Rosemont

Amid conference expansion and the increasingly cramped confines of its Rosemont headquarters, the Big Ten Conference plans to relocate some of its operations to a nearby office building that's also being converted into the new village hall, officials confirmed Monday.

The college athletic conference, headquartered in a three-story building overlooking the Tri-State Tollway and Rosemont's entertainment district since 2013, has proposed moving a portion of its video command center to the new Rosemont village hall at 9501 Technology Blvd.

That's where conference officials would monitor the games of their two biggest sports - football and basketball - as well as evaluate referees, according to Mayor Brad Stephens.

The village and conference also are considering a partnership to host a student startup entrepreneurial space within the building, Stephens said.

Possible brick-and-mortar office expansion for the Big Ten comes as the conference footprint will grow with the additions of UCLA and USC next fall. The new office move-in would kick off at about the same time, Stephens said.

"Now they're the 'Big 16,' so they need more space for their partner schools," Stephens said after the village board meeting Monday morning.

Big Ten officials didn't respond to a request for comment Monday.

Village officials recently sent a draft licensing agreement to the conference outlining terms of the arrangement. Stephens said no payments would likely be exchanged, as the nonprofit organization would be taking up space in a building where most of the square footage will be coming off the tax rolls.

The 6,500 square feet of office space envisioned for the video review center and student startup incubator - on the third floor of the four-story, 121,000-square-foot building - is pretty much "plug and play" and doesn't require much renovation, Stephens said. The Big Ten would be responsible for any build-out costs, he added.

The fourth floor of the building would house village government departments, the Rosemont Chamber of Commerce, Stephens' Leyden Township GOP political organization, Village Trustee Jack Dorgan's governmental lobbying firm, and companies that do work for the village, including law firms and developer Marc Offit's Braden Real Estate, the mayor said.

The public safety department headquarters and administration would be on the second floor. The jail cells, sally port, village boardroom, Rosemont history displays, Donald E. Stephens Museum of Hummels, and statue of the founding mayor - now in the courtyard of the current village hall at 9501 W. Devon Ave. - will be on the first floor, according to his son, the current mayor.

The village has to be out of its current home a year from now, under terms of a $3.8 million sale to Northfield-based Saxony Properties.

Architectural drawings for the interior build-out were completed last week, and as such, Stephens on Monday didn't have an estimate on what the village's cost could be. But an estimate last fall put it at $17 million.

The village bought the building - a former Cisco Systems regional headquarters - for $13 million in 2022.

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