Moving beyond COVID: How Schaumburg hopes to keep meeting demands of businesses

The suburbs’ largest hub of economic activity is implementing a new three-year economic development strategic plan designed to help it build upon its status in a post-pandemic world that’s affected some of its traditional strengths.

Schaumburg is home to a diverse mix of economic sectors — including office, industrial, hospitality, retail, and transit — and the strategic plan developed over the past year with assistance from the Hamman Consulting Group aims to address the evolving demands of each.

Undoubtedly, the one most affected by the pandemic and most in need of a fresh approach is the office market, Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said.

Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank Courtesy of village of Schaumburg

The plan identifies industries ripe for recruitment for Schaumburg’s in-demand supply of high-end Class A office space, and establishes parameters to determine which Class B and C office properties might be eligible for repurposing.

“The cluster analysis gives us our primary targets in the Information, Finance, Insurance & Real Estate, Professional Scientific & Technical Services, and Management of Companies sectors,” Frank said. “Some of the key action items that the village will be focusing on to reduce office vacancy include identifying some of the potential companies in the sectors with expiring leases, collaborative marketing to attract more business, and evaluation of older office buildings for alternative uses or redevelopment.”

The Zurich North America headquarters in Schaumburg is an example of the high-end Class A office space the village hopes to see filled with tenants. Daily Herald File Photo, 2016

The recent lease by Des Plaines-based Wheels, Inc. of half the space available at Zurich North America’s iconic 783,800-square-foot headquarters in Schaumburg is an early example of the strategic plan’s goals being met, Frank said.

Wheels, Inc. is a fleet management and mobility solutions firm. Two other large office users are also close to signing major leases in the village, Frank said.

Windy Point at 1600 McConnor Parkway has started a HuddleUp program to encourage outside companies to make use of its Class A conference and coworking office facilities. Courtesy of BOMA, 2018

The Class A office campus of Windy Point at 1600 McConnor Parkway is also demonstrating an innovative approach with its HuddleUp program inviting outside companies to conference, co-work and collaborate there, Frank added.

The industrial sector has continued to thrive in recent years, but following through on the recent approval of a tax increment financing (TIF) district to fund the modernization of the village’s sprawling but aging Centex industrial park is a way to ensure Schaumburg will continue to be a destination for the best companies, Frank said.

CLOOS North America’s new $15 million facility opened this spring at 500 Commerce Drive in Schaumburg. Courtesy of CLOOS Robotics

“CLOOS Robotics is a great example of a business in Centex who is quadrupling their space and moving into the new 500 Commerce facility,” Frank said.

A grand opening for that state-of-the-art facility was held two weeks ago. Company officials said the more than $15 million investment will help the German company grow its presence in North America as demand increases for pre-engineered and custom robotic welding solutions.

CLOOS found staying near its longtime former home in another part of the industrial park beneficial because of its proximity to the sheet metal processing industry and O’Hare International Airport.

CLOOS North America’s new, expanded headquarters in Schaumburg represents what village officials would like to see planned public improvements encourage in other current and prospective tenants of the Centex industrial park. Courtesy of CLOOS Robotics

“Our expanded headquarters reinforces our commitment to providing advanced welding automation solutions to North America,” CLOOS North America President Doug Zoller said in a statement. “The new facility will allow us to provide greater supply security and shorter lead times to customers.”

The new strategic plan doesn’t neglect the village’s most widely appreciated economic sectors.

  The expanding 55-year-old European clothing retailer Primark has brought new life to the upper level of the former Sears at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. The village’s economic development strategic plan calls for other vacant anchor spaces at shopping centers to be filled through active recruitment. Eric Peterson/

“We also want to ensure that Schaumburg remains the destination for shopping and hospitality,” Frank said. “Some of the key action items identified in the strategic plan include support for Streets of Woodfield and Woodfield Mall and trying to backfill the old Sears, Lord & Taylor, and Carson’s spaces with exciting users. We are also focused on expanding transit options to get people to the 90 North Schaumburg District.”

The recent opening of European retailer Primark on the upper level of the former Sears space at Woodfield has reinforced the ability for larger tenants — both retail and entertainment venues — to generate visits, Frank said.

A rendering of one of the five buildings in the Crossroads of Schaumburg restaurant campus being developed for the northwest corner of Golf and Meacham roads in Schaumburg. Courtesy of village of Schaumburg

The upcoming construction of the Crossroads of Schaumburg development on the northwest corner of Golf and Meacham roads also demonstrates that the village has not reached the limit of its demand for restaurants. Planned tenants of the five-building campus include Lazy Dog, Piccolo Buco, Cava, Dave’s Hot Chicken, Velvet Taco, Crisp & Green, Panda Express and Naansense.

  Crossroads development site on the northwest corner of Meacham and Golf roads in Schaumburg. Paul Valade/

Plans also are progressing for The District at Veridian, a mixed-use development of apartments, stores and restaurants at the eastern edge of the former Motorola Solutions campus next to Zurich North America and across Meacham Road from the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel.

A rendering of The District at Veridian, a planned mixed-use development of more than a million square feet of retail, restaurant, residential and office space on 30 acres along Meacham Road in Schaumburg. Courtesy of Schaumburg

Groundbreaking is expected later this summer for a $31.2 million, 900-space parking deck on the west side of the Renaissance and the adjacent Andretti Indoor Karting & Games that will anchor the first phase of a new entertainment district.

Frank said the success of the village’s pandemic recovery plan over the past few years is encouraging for the viability of the new strategic plan.

A rendering depicts the design of the forthcoming Andretti Indoor Karting & Games alongside a six-story parking deck on the west side of the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center, with the speculative design of two future restaurants just north of them on Thoreau Drive. Courtesy of village of Schaumburg

“I think Matt’s doing a great job,” Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly said. “He knows this industry so well, what’s coming and what’s staying.”

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.