Schaumburg close to choosing entertainment district developer
Schaumburg trustees Tuesday will consider authorizing negotiations with a developer to create a long discussed entertainment district just north of the Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center at the northeast corner of Meacham Road and the I-90 tollway.
The firm nominated by village staff -- Oak Brook-based Kensington Development Partners -- would bring to the deal two undisclosed entertainment anchors expected to draw a million visitors a year to the 23-acre site.
Among the four firms that submitted proposals for the project, Kensington recently was favored over the other finalist -- GRE Schaumburg, LLC -- for having a vision closer to the village's, including a smaller residential component.
Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said some residential component likely needed, but even Kensington's initial proposal included more than the village anticipated.
Both the "cool" factor and access to amenities are among the reasons people may want to live in an entertainment district, Frank said.
"I think there's that appeal to the younger generation as well as to those who are downsizing," he added.
While the village owns the land for the project, the aim is to sell most if not all of it to Kensington eventually.
Schaumburg officials previously worked on the design of a multilevel parking deck for the entertainment district, with the idea that it could remain public property. And the village has long harbored plans for a performing arts center that could be retained in some form in the final development.
Both finalists for the project described conversations with private entities who said they'd be interested in managing a performing arts or music venue on a contractual basis, but anything other than substantial public support or ownership of the facility would not be feasible, Frank said.
Despite the current prohibition on public gatherings, Kensington and its two proposed entertainment anchors have committed to the project, which has an expected 18- to 24-month time frame.
"They're on board long-term as we get through the pandemic," Frank said.
The development likely will include more hotel space than the existing Renaissance, he added.
If trustees give the go-ahead to negotiations Tuesday, the next step likely would be approval of general financial terms, Frank said.
Officials Tuesday also will review a plan for improvements to the adjacent part of Meacham that could include a pedestrian bridge to the Veridian development on the former Motorola Solutions site on the west side of the road.