Hoffman Estates approves rezoning of AT&T site for redevelopment

  • Hoffman Estates officials Monday rezoned the 150-acre former AT&T campus to enable its redevelopment as a mixed-use community called City Works and facilitate the developer's purchase of the land.

      Hoffman Estates officials Monday rezoned the 150-acre former AT&T campus to enable its redevelopment as a mixed-use community called City Works and facilitate the developer's purchase of the land. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Somerset officials have said their plan in Hoffman Estates is to follow their own previous example of converting the massive, former Bell Labs building in Holmdel, New Jersey, into the emerging "metroburb" called Bell Works.

    Somerset officials have said their plan in Hoffman Estates is to follow their own previous example of converting the massive, former Bell Labs building in Holmdel, New Jersey, into the emerging "metroburb" called Bell Works. Courtesy of Somerset Development

 
 
Updated 8/21/2018 10:00 AM

Hoffman Estates' trustees and mayor Monday unanimously approved the rezoning of the 150-acre former AT&T corporate campus to enable its redevelopment into a community of businesses and multifamily residences called City Works.

But the rezoning is contingent on New Jersey-based Somerset Development completing its purchase of the land within 180 days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Somerset's attorney, Larry Woodard, said exploring what type of financial incentive might best serve both the project and the community would be among the next steps.

Somerset officials have said their plan in Hoffman Estates is to follow their own previous example of converting the massive, former Bell Labs building in Holmdel, New Jersey, into the emerging "metroburb" called Bell Works.

In both cases, the goal is to revitalize an area of suburbia by making it dense and urban enough to cater to current market demand by millennials for both their jobs and homes, Somerset Development President Ralph Zucker has said.

The concept plan in Hoffman Estates calls for 1.2 million square feet of offices, 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 80,000 square feet of conference space in the existing buildings.

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New construction would add 379 apartments, 171 townhouses and a hotel.

Barrington Unit District 220 officials, while expressing cautious optimism about the project's ability to restore lost value to the site, are also concerned the number of students who might live there could outweigh the extra tax dollars the district might gain.

But the only comment from the public Monday night encouraged Hoffman Estates to approve the rezoning.

Jon Anderson, a South Barrington resident and principal of Nationwide Mortgage and Realty Co. in Hoffman Estates, said he's familiar with the new urbanism at the heart of the development's philosophy.

"I think this is a terrific project for Hoffman Estates and the whole area," Anderson said.

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