Mount Prospect annexes part of United campus
Mount Prospect officials annexed 13.6 acres of United Airlines' property into the village Tuesday, clearing for takeoff the airline's plan to build a center that will consolidate all of its global data operations in one location on its corporate campus.
The center will sit on the 13.6 acres at 1200 E. Algonquin Road that the village annexed from unincorporated Cook County, plus 4.7 acres already in the village. Both were consolidated into one parcel Tuesday.
United hopes to have the facility operational by the end of 2013, said Mike Landers, the company's director of design and construction.
"It's a data storage warehouse," he said. "It will handle all of our computer operations, our airline operations, globally, from this site. Anything to do with the operation of United Airlines, anyplace in the world."
With the annexation, United still has around 60 acres on the campus that remain in unincorporated Cook County.
Mayor Irvana Wilks said the village's philosophy on the United property is to incrementally bring it into Mount Prospect.
"For this village, this is an important part of our redevelopment of that area," Wilks said. "This allows us to have a very good development."
Trustee Steven Polit said he is excited by the annexation because of its impact on Mount Prospect's plan for the south end of the village.
"Bringing the center of (United's) data from the world to Mount Prospect is a very important part of realizing some of the South Mount Prospect plans that we have," he said
To those who felt the village should be less incremental in its approach, Wilks said, "I have always felt that things would happen in their own good time."
Landers said United is looking at its development strategy for the campus in its totality. All options, he added, are on the table.
The planned data center will be built in two phases. The first phase would consist of 22,000 square feet of office space and 150,000 square feet of warehouse space. Phase two would add an additional 100,000 square feet of warehouse space.
Mount Prospect Community Development Director Bill Cooney said the annexation agreement is set for 20 years. Under the agreement, United will pick up any payments required by state law to the Mount Prospect fire department for a five-year term. United also is on the hook for public improvements along Algonquin Road and Dempster Street.
The village approved several zoning variances Tuesday to accomplish the deal, including ones allowing an 8-foot fence along Dempster and Algonquin, and the addition of 116 parking spaces at the facility, instead of the 264 called for by zoning regulations. Another variation will allow United to provide only 245 trees on the site, rather than the 301 required. Landers said the request was related to the ease of security on the property.
"If we create a forest, that makes securing the facility that much more challenging," he said.
The deal also includes a payout to the Elk Grove Rural Fire Protection District. Laura Weizeorick, an attorney for the district, said the property constitutes approximately one-fifth of the fire district's assessed value. Officials declined to disclose the amount of the payout.