Pacific Retail Capital Partners is on the verge of turning around a struggling suburban Chicago mall, helping drive a trend for landlords in the indoor retail market.

Lombard trustees unanimously approve zoning change for $200 million residential project at York Town Center Mall, which will replace old Carson’s department store that has been vacant since 2018, Daily Herald Report.

Carson’s demolition will also make way for a new mall entrance and Main Street-style plaza as part of a larger redevelopment plan. Village leaders are putting the finishing touches on an economic incentive agreement that will provide developers with tax-increased financing and sales taxes to help fund the project.

Some other Chicago mall owners have begun restoring their assets along the residential route. As the pandemic further fuels an already growing trend of online shopping, the pressure is on traditional malls, some of which have been empty for long periods of time or have seen occupancy rates in recent years at a fraction of what they used to be.

French developer URW is undertaking a $100 million revamp of Skokie’s Westfield Old Orchard shopping center to add 350 apartments. In another northern suburb, Brookfield Properties is in talks with local officials to build 2,000 dwellings, including apartments, apartments and townhouses, at the Northbrook Court shopping centre.

Los Angeles-based Pacific Retail, which owns the heart of the Yorktown Center mall, is working with Chicago-based Synergy Construction Group on the Lombard project in the western suburbs.

New plans for Yorktown Center call for a five-story multifamily complex called Yorktown Preserve to be built in the mall’s parking lot east of Highland Avenue. When fully completed, the project will include two residential towers with a total of 621 units.

Construction of the first apartments could begin in 2024 as part of the initial development phase. Lombard’s director of community development William Heniff said the timing of the start of phase two “will depend on market conditions later in the process”.

Additionally, Pacific Retail wanted to make the mall’s facade more extroverted for future patrons, including glass storefronts for tenants around the plaza.

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Village leaders discussed the project’s “performance-based” incentives. That could equate to $12.1 million in tax-increase financing for the first-phase apartment building, $9.6 million for the second-phase construction, and millions of dollars in BIA incentives for plaza and exterior upgrades.

— Quinn Donoghue

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