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Schaumburg approves Sunstar Americas development pact

By Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Article updated: 3/12/2014 5:24 PM

Schaumburg officials have approved a redevelopment agreement for the Japanese firm Sunstar Americas Inc. to bring its North American headquarters and 400 new jobs to a site overlooking the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

Though the project first was announced last summer, the redevelopment agreement outlining its eligibility for $3.3 million of funding from a new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district was just signed off on this week.

Under the agreement, Schaumburg will make an initial payment of $1.65 million for TIF-eligible costs upon Sunstar’s completion of a new public roadway and bike path connection to its 80-acre site northeast of Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.

A second payment of $1.65 million will be made after a certificate of occupancy is issued for the company’s new 302,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility.

The agreement was dependent upon the village’s creation of a new TIF district in January, but Sunstar already began construction at its own risk before that, Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said.

The TIF encompasses an area bordered by Algonquin Road on the north, the tollway to the south, Roselle Road to the west and Arbor Drive to the east. Besides Sunstar, the district includes the Motorola Solutions campus, the planned site of the new Zurich America headquarters and property the village hopes to develop as an entertainment district.

Officials at first hoped to have the Sunstar headquarters opened during the winter of 2015, that date has now been pushed out to summer 2015 because of delays caused by weather and the obtaining of easements, Fitzgerald added.

The building is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015, but the company will need another four months to move in its manufacturing equipment before it will be fully staffed, she said.

The new plant will produce oral health care items currently made at an aging Chicago building.

Sunstar, which also has a local presence in Elgin, is an 82-year-old company that provides products and services in more than 90 countries, according to its website.

Though having started in Japan as a manufacturer of bicycle parts and rubber glue, the company now makes its international headquarters in Switzerland and has developed a much more diverse portfolio.

The new North American headquarters, being built on land formerly owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago, was designed by Heitman Architects in Itasca and will be built by Peak Construction Corp. in Des Plaines.

According to Heitman officials, the three-story building will feature a 350-foot-long gallery overlook running north and south between the offices and factory floor. The gallery’s “lantern” on the south end will be a visible beacon for motorists westbound on the tollway. Other features will include an atrium dining hall, fitness room and 200-seat auditorium.

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