Schaumburg's 2020 vision for former Motorola site, entertainment district
Schaumburg's plans for new developments to get more real
Topgolf's new Schaumburg location gained distinction this fall as the first component of Veridian, a sprawling, urban-style mixed-use development that's replacing the former Motorola Solutions campus on a Chicago Loop-sized property at the southwest corner of Algonquin and Meacham roads.
But 2020 is expected to be an even more significant year for the 225-acre project -- as well as for the progression of a village-initated entertainment district across Meacham, just north of the Schaumburg Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
Kyle Schulz, vice president of economic development for the Schaumburg Business Association, said such endeavors often are governed by a herd mentality -- no one wants to be first one out. But the work that's occurred to date should snowball in 2020, he said.
"There's a curiosity now in the marketplace," Schulz said.
Business tenants already are being pinned down for a 30-acre area of Veridian to be called The District. It will feature more than 200,000 square feet of commercial development, about 400 residences and possibly a hotel.
The District is a project of Veridian's master developer, Chicago-based UrbanStreet Group LLC. Managing Partner Bob Burk of Palatine said the first phase will include restaurants, entertainment venues and probably a movie theater, along with about 250 residences.
The plan will be proposed formally to the village in 2020, with the aim of being well along in its construction by this time next year, Burk said.
Officials hope to make similar progress this year on the 12-acre, urban-style park that Schaumburg is developing within Veridian. Chicago-based Site Design Group Ltd. has just been hired as a consultant on the project, seen as both a recreational amenity and a catalyst for the development around it.
By year's end, the framework for the park should be under construction and the north-south Parkside Drive alongside it completed, Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said.
Having just won the recommendation of the village's zoning board of appeals, D.R. Horton Inc.'s proposal for a 260-unit row house development on 20 acres along Algonquin Road will be before the village board for final approval in January.
While that project will be under construction at the end of 2020, two developments expected to wrap up in the new year are UrbanStreet's 260-unit Element at Veridian apartment building and the eight-story, 180,000-square-foot global headquarters of The Boler Co., which is relocating from Itasca.
Construction will begin in the spring on a four-story, 110-unit assisted-living and memory-care center to be run by Florida-based Harbor Retirement Development LLC.
While the name "Veridian" has existed largely on paper up to this point, plans for gateway signs bearing that title for the entrances to Progress Parkway at both Algonquin and Meacham roads will come up for approval early this year, Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said.
And Schaumburg leaders expect to push forward with plans for an entertainment district across from Veridian, on the east side of Meacham Road.
The district will sit on what is now the single-story, 110,000-square-foot Woodfield Green Executive Centre, which was bought by the village in 2017. Officials expect the last tenants will vacate the office complex in 2020 to allow for its demolition.
The choice of design for the entertainment district will dictate the location of an approximately $30 million, five-level parking deck the village wants to build to serve the new businesses and convention center, Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly said.
Though a performing arts center is seen as a potential anchor for the entertainment district, officials agree that a well-established theater industry partner would be needed before pressing ahead with that concept.
Village officials and Burk say they expect the entertainment district and Veridian to complement each other.
One way this might happen is if the district catered more to visitors and convention attendees, while Veridian caters more to those who live in the area, Schulz said.
The trickier part is ensuring both don't sap the economic strength of Schaumburg's existing business district.
"That's where a true partnership is required of everyone," he said.
At its first "Good Morning, Schaumburg!" breakfast meeting of the year on Tuesday, Jan. 14, the Schaumburg Business Association will introduce some initiatives to create a more circular economy in which all businesses can benefit from the growth taking place, Schulz said.
The sooner Veridian moves from a construction zone to a full-fledged business district, the better, he said.
"Not every town has a chance to redefine its economic future," he said.