Though many businesses are being hard hit by social restrictions triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak, real estate and development investors in Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg this week were still planning for a more normal economy a couple of years in the future.
Hoffman Estates Economic Development Director Kevin Kramer said he's been continuing to get the normal volume of calls in the past several days from developers seeking to locate in the village.
Such projects take a significant amount of time to turn around and aren't focused on the situation of today, next week or even three months from now, Kramer said.
"The real estate and development community is always looking two to three years ahead," he said. "Industrial is still really hot."
Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said progress on the mixed-use Veridian development replacing the sprawling former Motorola campus at Algonquin and Meacham roads is continuing. And the village's own long-term planning for an entertainment district on the opposite side of Meacham has been uninterrupted.
"There's still interest, which is fantastic," Frank said.
Indeed, construction remained underway this week on both the Veridian development in Schaumburg and the repurposing of the former AT&T headquarters in Hoffman Estates into the future Bell Works "metroburb" before Gov. J.B. Pritzker's statewide stay-at-home order was issued Friday afternoon.
Both construction projects had been adhering to all current protocols on social distancing with their workers, officials said.
While the Bell Works project has been preparing for its first office and retail tenants, construction on the Veridian site has been focused on The Element at Veridian apartment building, the new global headquarters of The Boler Co., and additional roads on the property.
Bob Burk, managing partner of UrbanStreet Group LLC, the master developer of the Veridian project, said a long-term view has been and remains essential in his industry.
Every construction project has an expectation of some delay built into its time frame, Burk said. But he added that the coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented factor whose ultimate impact remains uncertain for now.