Somerset Development scored approval for its plan to transform the former AT&T campus in suburban Hoffman Estates into a sprawling mixed-use community.
Village officials Monday approved a concept plan and agreement to turn the 1.6 million-square-foot campus into the new “City Works” community, according to the Daily Herald.
The so-called “metroburb” would include 375 apartments, 175 townhouses, stores, restaurants, hotel rooms and offices and would mirror what New Jersey-based Somerset did with the 2 million-square-foot former Bell Labs building in Holmdel, N.J.
That project is a hit with residents and officials, Holmdel Township Mayor Tom Critelli told the Daily Herald. Bell Works consists of 185 senior housing units and 40 single-family homes, with about 5,000 people working in its offices.
Locally, School District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris worried that the addition of more than 100 new students would be a burden on taxpayers.
But Gregg Majewski, who owns Jerseys Pizza & Grill nearby on Lakewood Boulevard said his property value has significantly diminished since AT&T left, and he urged Hoffman Estates officials not to let concerns over additional students stop efforts to breathe new life into the area.
The AT&T campus is frequently mentioned as a driver of suburban office vacancy rates along with the former GE Healthcare complex in Barrington and the former Motorola headquarters in Schaumburg. Though Schaumburg officials have discussed a vision for the Motorola property as an “urban, dense” mixed-use redevelopment not unlike what Somerset envisions in Hoffman Estates.
Irving, Texas-based loan servicer C-III Asset Management took control of the AT&T site in a sheriff’s sale last year after its former owner was hit with a $132 million foreclosure suit when AT&T’s lease expired in 2016, according to Crain’s. [Daily Herald] — John O’Brien