Hoffman Estates allows Obama Library archives to stay for four more years

While no firm date has been announced for the completion and opening of the Barack Obama Presidential Library near the University of Chicago, its future contents will stay in Hoffman Estates for four more years.

Village board members unanimously approved an extension to the special-use permit that enables landlord Hoffman Estates Medical Development LLC to lease the 74,200-square-foot former Plunkett Furniture store at 2500 W. Golf Road to the National Archives and Records Administration through Dec. 31, 2026.

The lease began in the autumn of 2016 just as Obama was preparing to leave office, when it was thought that September 2022 was the latest it would be needed.

Trustee Gary Pilafas and others asked whether the new extension would be sufficient. Pilafas cast the sole dissenting vote on the special-use permit in 2016. At the time he said his vote was based on the hope of redeveloping the site into something that would generate more tax revenue.

"I don't know if I would define temporary as 10 years," Pilafas said before this week's vote. "I'm just curious, do we know ... is that really the end?"

"That's what they've indicated," Hoffman Estates Planning & Transportation Director Jenny Horn responded. "I think some of their work was extended out. I know they were working on the Obama Library, so because of the challenges they had with the actual site in the city, it extended the time that they needed to do their archiving work."

Pilafas said "that makes perfect sense" before joining the 7-0 vote.

Attorney Alex Drapatsky, who represents the landlord, told the Daily Herald the lessees did not indicate the reasons for a four-year extension but that it didn't interfere with his client's immediate plans for the building.

As in 2016, representatives of the National Archives and Records Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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