Schaumburg wants to buy offices to clear way for entertainment district
Schaumburg trustees Tuesday approved a $6.58 million offer to buy the two single-story office buildings just north of the village's convention center and Renaissance Hotel to help develop a new entertainment district and reconfigure Thoreau Drive.
The 110,000-square-foot Woodfield Green Executive Centre lies on the north side of Thoreau Drive and just across Meacham Road from Zurich North America's new headquarters.
"If we're building an entertainment center, it would be helpful to acquire property adjacent to it so we can control its use," Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson said.
Schaumburg officials became aware only weeks ago of an opportunity to make an offer on the 8.75-acre site they had long considered underused, Village Manager Brian Townsend said.
The long-term plan is to hold the property to sell to one or more developers interested in building more restaurant and other entertainment venues near the southeast corner of Meacham and Algonquin roads.
What's less clear is the exact time frame.
Though no new leases or lease renewals will be approved in Woodfield Green Executive Centre, the expiration dates of the current leases range from 2018 to 2030.
While there are no immediate plans to send out requests for proposals to redevelop the site, some of the longer leases will likely be negotiated down, Townsend said.
"Our intention is to work out agreements with everybody, just like we did with the purchase of the property," he said.
As the land lies in a relatively new tax increment finance district for the purpose of redevelopment -- with tax money above a certain amount going into the development rather than local governments -- some leases could even face condemnation proceedings if agreements can't be reached, Townsend said.
Once the office buildings are torn down, the current curve of Thoreau Drive would be reduced to better use the site.
Village officials aim to close on the purchase by Dec. 31.