Business Community Growth

Schaumburg’s former Motorola Solutions 322-acre campus, built during the 1960s between the Northwest Tollway and Algonquin Road, just west of Meacham Road, is about to be transformed into a community of homes, offices, hotels, restaurants, stores and even entertainment venues.

Motorola’s relatively recent split into two companies and the Motorola Solutions decision to relocate its headquarters to Chicago (leaving only 1,600 employees in Schaumburg), has presented Schaumburg with an historic opportunity to redevelop and reinvent a large parcel within itself.

Zurich North America has already built its striking new head quarters on the southeast corner of the site, adjacent to the tollway, and Motorola Solutions has renovated one of the existing buildings that it is leasing back from a new owner.

The rest of the campus is available for repurposing and 225 of those acres have been purchased by UrbanStreet Group of Chicago whose managing partner, Bob Burk, lives in nearby Inverness.

“We are very excited to be working our way through an in-depth re-zoning process with the Village of Schaumburg, coming up with a framework plan for our ‘Veridian’ development that includes new roads and deciding on areas where certain uses will be permitted,” Burk said. “For instance, we know that there are corporations looking for high-visibility acreage along the tollway and plan other areas for residential and other uses. We want to create
a very dense, mixed-use environment that is walkable.”

Burk said they have no plans to build any hi-rise structures in the immediate future, but multi-story buildings are certainly
in the plan.

“We want to create an environment where people want to be, so we are carefully laying a framework for a community that will include a residential component, offices, retail, restaurants, hotels and even entertainment,” he said. “We have been working, for instance, to bring in a movie theater, activity-based sporting facilities, a variety of restaurants and retail – all to enhance the residential and office properties which are planned.”

“We have already had some interest from some big companies who want office space, but getting a whole corporate headquarters, frankly, is a bigger challenge. We will have to see who is looking,” Burk added.

And none of this will happen overnight. Burk anticipates a decade for complete build-out, which gives them the luxury of being able to adapt to changing market conditions.

“We are very process-oriented,” he said.

UrbanStreet already has an agreement with the village to construct a new L-shaped spine road through the site from Algonquin Road to Meacham Road during 2018 and Burk hopes that other construction will also begin this year.

This will be the biggest UrbanStreet project ever done. The firm has completed many smaller projects with one or two of these same elements in other parts of the country, but this will be the first time they combine them into one large development.

“This project is very important to me,” Burk said. “I grew up driving by here since I lived in Palatine and attended Fremd High School. Now I live in Inverness and still drive by here.”

UrbanStreet Group recognized the opportunity to buy and redevelop the Motorola property thanks to relationships Burk had built with both the village and Motorola Solutions over the years. They began talking in late 2015 and closed on the property in July 2016.

UrbanStreet Group is partnering on the project with Chicago-based VennPoint Real Estate.