Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Portman building goes up in Schaumburg

If you travel I-90 at all, you've noticed the convention center that's gone up in Schaumburg. I was really surprised to discover that this is a John Portman project. I guess the notorious RenCen developer is still popular.
The hotel and convention center consists of a 500-room hotel, a 100,000-square foot (9,300 sm) exhibit hall, a 28,000-square foot (2,600 sm) ballroom, plus junior ballrooms and meeting rooms. The convention center is designed to allow for an expansion of the exhibit space by approximately 150,000 square feet (14,000 sm). The project is enhanced by a 2,400-seat performing arts theater, providing an exceptional entertainment venue for hotel guests and the residents of the greater metropolitan area. (source: Portman web site)
The 2,400-seat theater is interesting. So is the new 11,000-seat Sears Centre Arena. I wonder what impact these new projects will have on Elgin.

At 18,500 seats, Allstate Arena is a larger venue in a different class, but is still likely to lose a lot of business to the Sears Arena. But for Elgin, the Sears Arena might actually be positive if it brings 11,000 people per concert/event. The city will have to figure out how it will bring these people across I-90 and into downtown Elgin. Elgin could be the biggest winner in this bargain. Hoffman shells out the money for the project, and hopefully Elgin collects on the traffic.


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