Schaumburg to consider master plan for entertainment district

  • The 13-year-old Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center would anchor a new entertainment district in Schaumburg if a proposed master plan for the east side of Meacham Road between the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway and Algonquin Road is endorsed by village officials.

    The 13-year-old Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center would anchor a new entertainment district in Schaumburg if a proposed master plan for the east side of Meacham Road between the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway and Algonquin Road is endorsed by village officials. Daily Herald file photo, 2006

 
 
Updated 3/15/2019 9:34 PM

Schaumburg officials may soon formalize the long-discussed idea of creating an entertainment district on the 28 acres along the east side of Meacham Road, between the I-90 tollway and Algonquin Road, once a proposed master plan is reviewed Tuesday.

According to the draft, the existing Schaumburg Convention Center and Renaissance Hotel would anchor a redevelopment aimed at attracting more restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues to that area, and possibly locating other commercial and residential uses on the upper floors of the new buildings.

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Meeting as a committee of the whole at 7 p.m. Tuesday, village board members may recommend approval of the plan or request some tweaking of it. But if it is formally endorsed at a later meeting, the village staff would solicit proposals from developers to add detail to the vision, Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said.

Among the proposal's goals are to realign and build new roads in the district, potentially turn the "Embrace" area defined by the architectural feature in front of the Renaissance into a pedestrian hub, and establish design principles for future builders to follow.

This redevelopment would occur in tandem with UrbanStreet Group LLC's transformation of the approximately 300-acre former Motorola Solutions campus on the west side of Meacham. The village recently hired a consultant to research ways for Meacham to be less of a barrier between the two areas, Fitzgerald said.

One big difference is the village already owns a significant amount of land on the east side where the single-story, 110,000-square-foot Woodfield Green Executive Centre still stands and the 3 acres where Ron Santo's American Rotisserie once did, she said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Among the things the proposed master plan does not commit to is whether a long-touted 2,800-seat performing arts center and a more recently considered six-story parking deck will be built or where they would be located.

The village staff and consultants are weighing feedback from trustees this year on plans for a 1,137-space parking deck that would serve the new entertainment venues and the convention center. This includes criticism of its originally proposed location along Meacham Road just north of an existing access road to the convention center campus and south of Thoreau Drive.

Plans for the performing arts center remain on hold until a potential partner with a background in the theater industry can be identified.

The draft master plan for the entertainment district also allows for the potential northward expansion of the convention center without committing to it, Fitzgerald said.

Just because the planning area for the entertainment district includes 28 acres doesn't mean every existing property within it will be repurposed, she said. At least one area in doubt is the southeast corner of Meacham and Algonquin roads where Cook County Highway Maintenance District 1 is based.

The village staff worked on the master plan with a consultant team that included the firms of Ginkgo Planning and Design, Christopher B. Burke Engineering and SB Friedman Development Advisors.

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