Big Ten scraps plan to move video center to new Rosemont village hall

Despite the addition of more schools, the Big Ten Conference is backing away from plans to move its video command center and a student startup entrepreneurial space to the new Rosemont village hall, officials confirmed.

The decision late Monday afternoon came after village trustees in the morning approved a $26.5 million no-bid contract with their longtime favored builders to renovate the building at 9501 Technology Blvd. into the new village hall and public safety department headquarters. Private office tenants would lease space from the village there, too.

A 6,500-square-foot third floor portion of the four-story, 121,000-square-foot building was envisioned for the college athletic conference's review center, where officials would monitor football and basketball games and evaluate referees. The village and conference also considered partnering on the student entrepreneurial space, the Daily Herald reported in June.

But Mayor Brad Stephens said conference leaders have decided to instead use existing space in their nearby headquarters. The three-story, 50,000-square-foot building overlooking the Tri-State Tollway and Rosemont's entertainment district opened a decade ago.

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

On Tuesday, interior demolition work started at the old Cisco Systems office building, which the village purchased for $13 million last year. The $26.5 million cost of upgrades - being done by the Rosemont-based development partnership of Degen & Rosato Construction Co. and Northern Builders - could go up once architectural drawings for additional tenants are complete by November.

Initial estimates put the cost of renovations closer to $17 million, but more tenants have expressed interest in leasing space, Stephens said. That includes the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps and an insurance company that does work for the village. Previously announced office users include law firms, the Rosemont Chamber of Commerce, Stephens' Leyden Township GOP political organization, Village Trustee Jack Dorgan's governmental lobbying firm and developer Marc Offit's Braden Real Estate.

The village is paying for all of the build-out costs, but Stephens believes it's ultimately a good price because of what the village will get back in rent.

It's been almost a year since Rosemont scrapped plans for a new separate village hall and public safety department headquarters, deciding instead to buy and renovate the shuttered office building near the Rosemont Theatre and Fashion Outlets of Chicago. The proposed single-story, 101,000-square-foot cop shop on a plot of land north of the Allstate Arena was estimated to cost $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.

Those numbers "made me blush," Stephens said.

About $24 million worth of proceeds from a September 2020 bond issue for the police and fire headquarters is sitting in an account, now intended for the village hall renovations, the mayor said.

The village must be out of its current home at 9501 W. Devon Ave. by June, under terms of a $3.8 million sale to Northfield-based Saxony Properties. To meet the deadline, construction crews might go to a six-day workweek, Stephens said.

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