Schaumburg officials and representatives of Orlando-based Andretti Indoor Karting & Games say they are excited to launch the first phase of the village’s 23-acre entertainment district around the Schaumburg Convention Center and Renaissance Hotel.
Last week, the village announced that an 80,000-square-foot Andretti Karting facility would be the anchor of the 8-acre first phase on the west side of the Renaissance Hotel.
Other elements would include a multilevel, 900-space parking deck and an additional entertainment venue and restaurant. Oak Brook-based Kensington Development Partners is expected to reach an agreement with Schaumburg on Tuesday to market those additional restaurant and entertainment spaces.
Andretti Karting’s Director of Real Estate & Development Chad Montgomery said the appeal of his company’s first Midwestern venue is likely to make Kensington’s task easier.
A million visitors a year are projected at the proposed Andretti Karting in Schaumburg, which will take the company beyond its southern locations in Florida, Georgia and Texas.
“We think Schaumburg is the perfect place to plant our first Midwestern flag,” Montgomery said.
The company plans to buy the Schaumburg site for $6 million and then invest another $30 million in a venue that will include multilevel karting tracks for different age ranges, an arcade, a two-level laser tag arena, bowling, virtual reality attractions, a full restaurant and bar, and 10,000 square feet of event space.
Though suburban Chicago is new territory for Andretti, the Schaumburg location won’t be entirely unfamiliar. The company’s flagship location in Orlando is right across from the Orange County Convention Center, and others are near Topgolf sites like the one in the 225-acre Veridian Development across Meacham Road.
With planning and preparation for the entertainment district and parking deck having gone on for a few years, Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly believes it couldn’t be off to a better start.
“I am really, really excited about Andretti Indoor Karting,” he said. “Go-karting is fun! And you can do this knowing you’re going to do it safely. It’s really a great anchor for the entertainment district.”
Andretti Director of Marketing Samantha LaMagna said she often hears people express surprise over the presence of a full-service restaurant and the size and quality of event space at their locations.
Montgomery said the new location will employ 350 people.
Andretti Karting has fared well during the pandemic due to its dedication to hygiene protocols and making its patrons aware of them, LaMagna said. In 2021, the company reached an all-time high of $100 million in revenues, resulting in the payment of $1.5 million in year-end bonuses and this month’s launch of a new employee profit-sharing arrangement.
Once the coming applications and site review are completed in Schaumburg, construction is expected to take 10 months from groundbreaking, Montgomery said.
It’s hoped the other businesses will be identified in time that construction of all of them and the parking deck can be done simultaneously.
“Hopefully, this first phase will open all at once,” Montgomery said.
Demolition of the 110,000-square-foot Woodfield Green Executive Centre on the north side of Thoreau Drive this fall is expected to provide space for phase two of the entertainment district, as well as temporary parking while phase one is under construction.
The second phase could include a hotel or a small amount of residential property, but neither is considered a high priority, Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said.
Most of all, the entertainment district will be focused on young adults and professionals, rather than kid-oriented venues like the Legoland or Peppa Pig World of Play on the south side of I-90, he added.
A future pedestrian bridge over Meacham Road might also make the planned Sports & Social restaurant in the Veridian Development walkable for Renaissance Hotel guests, Frank said.
Dailly added that he would like to see the village’s trolley-shaped buses that serve the Woodfield Mall area broken up into multiple routes that can specialize in helping visitors reach either Topgolf at the western end of Veridian or the village’s existing restaurant row and retail stores across the tollway.
The planned phase one of the entertainment district displaces a long-held desire for a performing arts center to the west of the Renaissance Hotel, Dailly said he believes the changed market might still call for some type of smaller-scale music venue in phase two.