Schaumburg seeking ways to reduce costs of performing arts center

  • Planning is progressing for the possible construction of a 2,800-seat, village-owned performing arts center on the west side of the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center.

      Planning is progressing for the possible construction of a 2,800-seat, village-owned performing arts center on the west side of the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. Eric Peterson | Staff Photographer, 2016

 
 
Posted2/2/2018 5:33 AM

Though Schaumburg's proposed 2,800-seat performing arts center hasn't been before the village board in nearly nine months, work continues on trying to reduce its potential cost and choose an operator to run it, Village Manager Brian Townsend said.

Last May, trustees voted 5-1 to have the village staff seek out conceptual drawings, contract with an operator able to work in the competitive Chicago theater market, and find ways to lower the project's estimated $87 million price tag.

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If built, the center would be somewhere near the west side of the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. Though a performing arts center was part of the initial convention center plan, the project was held back due to financial concerns.

Village leaders intend for the center to compete with comparably sized venues in the Chicago market and attract more visitors and businesses to Schaumburg.

There was no specific time frame given by the board last spring.

"It's one of those things that takes as long as it takes," Townsend said.

Townsend identified three ways the project could be back before the board: major movement in reducing the cost, a partner coming forward willing to share in the expense, or trustees asking to address the project again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

During the board's most recent discussions, the estimated cost was reduced from $105 million to $87 million -- about $69 million of which would be for construction alone.

The village has been saving for the long-discussed project since 2004 and could have $24 million set aside by the end of the fiscal year in April.

But without further reductions or a major sponsor, that would leave another $53 million to be borrowed by the village.

While five trustees elected to move forward with the project last year, Trustee Marge Connelly voted against it. She said the funding question remained her major reservation.

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