Schaumburg may pay preschool $3.5 million to make way for entertainment district
Plans for an entertainment district north of the Schaumburg Convention Center may be coming into focus as village officials consider paying a preschool and day care center $3.5 million to get out of the way.
Nearly five years ago, the village of Schaumburg paid $6.58 million for a pair of single-story office buildings north of the Renaissance Hotel to raze them for a new entertainment district.
Village trustees will vote Tuesday night on whether to pay another $3.5 million to the buildings' last tenant -- Bright Horizons -- to leave by May 31, rather than stay to the end of all its lease extension options in 2045.
While the current lease expires in 2030, village officials said there are existing options for three automatic 5-year extensions beyond that.
Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said the village would then demolish the 110,000-square-foot Woodfield Green Executive Centre in the fall, enabling its 8.75 acres to be redeveloped as an entertainment district.
Village officials envision a 28-acre area on the east side of Meacham Road, anchored by the convention center and featuring restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues.
Frank and Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly said it would be fair to infer that there's a reason for the village's urgency to move the preschool out, but they declined to discuss specifics.
"We're very anxious to get started with the entertainment district," was all Dailly would say.
A representative of Bright Horizons said the business couldn't comment before the agreement is approved. But Frank said the village's understanding is that the preschool and day care center plan to relocate to Roosevelt University's Schaumburg campus just across I-90.
Schaumburg already has paid some other tenants of the Woodfield Green Executive Centre to leave their leases early, but the $3.5 million under consideration for Bright Horizons is more than all the rest combined, Frank said. The next highest payment was $1 million.
The amount negotiated with Bright Horizons was based on the value of the lease and its remaining extension options, Frank said.
The money is coming from a tax increment financing district set up to fund public improvements in a redevelopment area along Algonquin Road, both east and west of Meacham Road. Such districts set aside a share of the property taxes normally intended for local governments for up to 23 years to pay for improvements.
The payment subtracts from other potential uses in the area, such as the 12-acre public park being developed on the Veridian property across Meacham Road that used to be Motorola Solutions' corporate campus, Frank said.
Dailly said there had been hopes of razing the Woodfield Green Executive Centre much earlier, but the deal with Bright Horizons took some time to work out.
"This one dragged on two years longer than I anticipated," he said.
Dailly added that he was dumbfounded the previous owner of the buildings had agreed to a lease so long, but such leases have to be respected by future landlords.