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Despite the course correction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village of Hoffman Estates has not seen a slowdown in its commercial real estate market. Companies such as Bystronic, Holiday Inn Express and Buona Beef constructed new buildings during 2020 in this Illinois village while retailers like Dollar Tree, Burlington and Zeigler Mercedes-Benz of Hoffman Estates have remodeled formerly vacant properties to open new facilities in 2021.
“Apart from development, the Village also engaged in small business development and workforce development with groups like Next Level Northwest and the Golden Corridor Advanced Manufacturing Partnership; investment in TIF districts by creating a new TIF, completing deals, and approving plans for private investment in blighted areas; and increased promotional efforts of all that’s happening including the opening of the Metroburb, Bell Works Chicagoland,” said Kevin Kramer, Director of Economic Development for the Village of Hoffman Estates.
Because of that latter development, the Metroburb, it seems Hoffman Estates has become a “reinvention” capital of Chicago’s northwest suburbs – possibly leading the way among the Windy City’s suburbs.
This is best illustrated by the redevelopment of the 150-acre former AT&T campus along I-90 by New Jersey-based Somerset Development. The developer is in the process of remodeling the 1.6 million square feet of office space, distributed between three buildings built in the early 1990s, and the surrounding property into what it calls Bell Works Chicagoland, a “Metroburb.”
When finished, it will feature office and co-working space, as well as retail, restaurants and service businesses open to the general public within the main building, a conference center, public gathering places and a full fitness experience. Eventually, this will also be surrounded by 550 townhouses and apartments and a hotel, according to Kramer.
Several companies have already moved into a portion of the remodeled 30,000 square feet of “ready to wear” spec office space. Other companies, such as Platinum Mortgage, are choosing to build out their own space of about 20,000 square feet in the Metroburb.
In addition, Somerset has remodeled all the public spaces in the eastern half of the building and crafted the Colab co-working space adjacent to the spec office where Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea is located. Ongoing renovation work is taking place in portions of the building, including the eastern entryway and dedicated leased office spaces.
“Now that the building is open, we have had many tours,” Kramer said. “It looks ‘night and day different’ than it did when AT&T was there. We are thrilled.”
The building is open to the public for the first time in 30 years and the upcoming 6th Annual State of Suburban Office Conference on Sept. 23 will be hosted by REjournals at the site.
Several years ago, Somerset Development came up with the idea of converting massive corporate campuses into Metroburbs, which allow firms to rent office space above retail spaces like grocery stores, coffee shops, food halls, restaurants, hair salons, daycare, doggy daycare, libraries and more. The concept allows corporate employees in the suburbs to enjoy the convenience of working in an urban environment, but with everything under one roof close to home in the suburbs. See the plans for the site at www.bell.works/chicagoland.
Meanwhile, adjacent to Bell Works Chicagoland on the north, Microsoft is building a large data center site on a 53-acre parcel. The first of two buildings is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2022. Immediately west of that site, a 250,000-square-foot spec industrial building is underway and in the process of leasing. Construction should be completed for up to four tenants to move in by the second quarter of 2022.
Finally, with retail rapidly changing, the Village welcomed Burlington and Dollar Tree to Poplar-Prairie Stone Crossing Shopping Center, owned by Pine Tree Commercial and part of the Poplar Creek at 59-90 shopping and entertainment district near the intersection of I-90 and Illinois Route 59. Burlington and Dollar Tree divided the 40,000-square-foot former Sports Authority space, which had been vacant since 2016. The large space proved difficult to fill, so the landlord worked with both retailers on this innovative solution.
While the retail sector has had to change to accommodate consumers, especially during the pandemic, many retailers are still choosing to open, operate and invest in Hoffman Estates.
If you’d like more information about developing, investing and opening in Hoffman Estates contact Kevin Kramer at 847-781-2662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.