Valbridge Property Advisors | Chicago recently completed a complex appraisal assignment of Bell Works Chicagoland, a proposed 1,000,000+ SF mixed-use property that will center on the redevelopment of a former Hoffman Estates Ameritech Center located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, which was home to an AT&T research facility until 2016. Dubbed “The Metroburb,” the redevelopment project consists of multiple phases.  Phase 1 is already well underway, and is set to combine Class A workspaces, dining, retail, and other experiential uses of the space. Thus far, ownership has only had great success regarding the lease up of Phase I of the project.

Our Chicago team of appraisal professionals was contracted to appraise several buildings and vacant parcels onsite, with the highest and best use of the now partially transformed research facility lodged at the center of the appraisal problem.  In addition to vacant land, the defunct research facility contained a 900,000 SF “H” shaped building, plus two other structures, a 6-story, 60,000 SF office building, and a 40,000 SF warehouse. Separate values for each of the parcels and buildings were required by the lender client, Eastern Savings Bank.  As an aside, Eastern Savings Bank had only positive commentary throughout the appraisal process and required no report modifications. Top-quality work and positive feedback, such as this, is what Valbridge Property Advisors strives for nationwide.

As early as 2013, the Village of Hoffman Estates considered prospective uses that included a subdivision of the “H” building for 2‐3 smaller tenants, use as a university facility, use as a correctional facility, and a shopping mall. After much research and many meetings with developers, Somerset Development, stepped in to bid on and develop the plan for what will now become a dynamic, mixed-use development serving the needs of the community and the greater Chicagoland area.

To further incentivize the redevelopment of the site, the Village designated the area around the Bell Works site as a Tax Increment Financing District (TIF). The TIF freezes the property taxes on the current commercial part of the Bell Works redevelopment (not the housing portion) at current rates and then any tax increase attributed to the value increase goes to service the debt needed for infrastructure and public improvements. The TIF went into effect in 2019 and expires in 2042.

Valbridge Property Advisors | Chicago is proud to have been trusted to appraise this property, in all its complexity. This property will help shape the future of the Hoffman Estates site and surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing Bell Works Chicagoland’s Metroburb fully operational.

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