Schaumburg's economy bouncing back, but filling offices still a challenge, official says
Members of the Schaumburg Business Association heard a midyear economic update Tuesday covering the village's changing demographics, the business sectors soaring back from the pandemic, and the lingering challenge of a 30% vacancy rate for the 13.5 million square feet of office space in town.
While keeping Schaumburg the second-largest hub of economic activity in the state requires ongoing attention, the village has many natural strengths on its side, Economic Development Director Matt Frank said.
"We are fortunate to work in a community where people want to be," he said.
Current estimates put the village's residential population at just over 80,000, while nearly 70,000 more are commuting into town for work.
Recent trends show the residential population becoming older, wealthier, better-educated and more diverse, Frank said.
The village's median age is 38.5 years old, and its median household income is $79,308. About 49% of adult residents have a bachelor's degree or higher, and 38% were born outside the United States.
Along with the construction and sale of 149 new single-family homes in the Summit Grove development on former school district land, the village is seeing a boom in high-end apartments, bringing the median monthly rent to $1,458.
Up for conceptual approval by the village board Tuesday was Schaumburg's largest-ever mixed-use development -- The District at Veridian -- which includes 574 apartments on the east end of the former Motorola campus along Meacham Road.
The developer expects to begin site work during the latter half of the year in preparation for construction.
Frank sees the office space vacancies as part of a transitional period in which companies are working out the right size for their needs.
"We've had more activity this year than in the past five years," he said. "There still is demand."
The village is taking stock of existing office space and assessing its potential for repurposing, if needed.
The medical office market is one sector that's experiencing growth. Lurie Children's Hospital is seeking to build an outpatient center at Roselle Road and Hillcrest Boulevard just south of I-90, while Northwest Community Healthcare is renovating its existing outpatient campus and planning cancer treatment center at the Veridian development.
Retail and restaurants -- Schaumburg's traditional strengths -- are experiencing growth in the wake of the pandemic, Frank said. Openings earlier this year include Kohl's, Carvana, Tony's Fresh Market, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Guzman & Gomez and Diamonds Direct. Upcoming openings include Dave & Buster's, McAlister's Deli, First Watch, Joong Boo Market, Steinhafels Furniture, and Subaru and Genesis dealerships.
Woodfield Mall also is evolving, with plans for Athleta women's apparel, the escape room 60 to Escape, and European retailer Primark on the upper level of the former Sears space.
"We are still working to fill the Lord & Taylor and the other portion of Sears," Frank said.
Another change is that the village's comprehensive land-use plan now encourages residential buildings of at least seven stories tall south of Woodfield Mall and west of Streets of Woodfield -- an area where such development previously was not allowed.
"We're hoping to rejuvenate that area," Frank said.