Schaumburg considering new entertainment district

Updated 9/18/2012 11:15 PM

Having opened the Schaumburg convention center six years ago, village officials are now aiming at its becoming the anchor of a gradual but comprehensive redevelopment of the area around the intersection of Algonquin and Meacham roads.

The entertainment and residential district the village wants to build around the convention center on the north side of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway is a revision of an idea that would have centered around a STAR line train station on the tollway itself.


The new concept would work whether the STAR line is built or not, officials say.

Village board members Tuesday heard a presentation of the concept plan by planner Kon Savoy of Teska Associates Inc., whom they hired as a consultant in June.

Among the changes envisioned by the plan is the replacement of poorly occupied one-story office buildings and parking lots along Meacham Road with a nightlife-oriented entertainment district.

Also hoped is that existing apartments and condominiums on Algonquin Road east of Meacham Road will eventually be replaced by more state-of-the-art buildings of the same use. Savoy said the plan envisions other redevelopments happening first, to help raise the land value of today's apartments and condos and create a natural market for their purchase by developers.

"Think of this as a self-sustainable community in many ways," Savoy said.

The plan still foresees a performing arts theater being built on the opposite side of the Renaissance Hotel from the convention center. But while Motorola's corporate headquarters is included in the plan for possible layout changes that could occur, it's envisioned to remain Motorola's property.

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Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson said the concept is aimed at providing unique opportunities in the Northwest suburbs, being neither Rosemont nor downtown Arlington Heights.

"We're not emulating Rosemont, but we think an entertainment district makes a lot of sense," Larson said.

A workshop seeking the input of planning and zoning board commissioners is set for Oct. 4, and a public hearing also will be part of the process.

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