The village of West Dundee is poised to buy most of the land in a nearly abandoned indoor shopping center to gain more control over its redevelopment.

West Dundee is in talks to purchase the majority of the Spring Hill Mall at 1072 Spring Hill Loop in the Northwest suburb of Chicago, Chicago Tribune reports. The potential seller is New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group.

Some of the potential terms of the 1.4 million square foot mall, 80 per cent in West Dundee, have not been disclosed. No timetable has been set for reaching an agreement.

Kohan Retail Investment acquired the mall in 2021 for $2.6 million.

“We started our outreach earlier this year,” West Dundee village chairman Chris Nelson told the Tribune. “Discussions have been intermittent. An offer sheet has been submitted which is the basis for the current discussions. An update on the talks is welcomed.

“If the offer is accepted, a period of due diligence will begin during which time-specific or fine-grained terms will be finalized,” he added.

This spring, West Dundee Village Council agreed to buy two of the mall’s four former anchor department stores for $1.25 million: a vacant Macy’s, and a vacant Seale’s for $1.25 million. store and 14 acres of land for $2 million.

Nelson said the village believes that retail stores in malls are outdated. By owning the mostly empty shopping centre, West Dundee would be able to control how the site was redeveloped for new uses, he said.

More than three-quarters of the shopping center is located in West Dundee, including the Cinemark Cinemas. The rest are in Carpentersville, including a closed Carson anchor store and a Kohl’s anchor store that remains open.

A Carpentersville Village manager said they would cooperate but not participate in negotiations to buy the troubled mall property.

Spring Hill Mall, which opened in 1980, could follow in the footsteps of indoor malls across the country as retailers grapple with online shopping and other market trends. In suburban Chicago, developers are transforming a once-iconic shopping center into a mixed-use village.

This month, New York-based Namdar Realty Group bought the troubled 1 million-square-foot Louis Joliet Mall in Chicago’s southwestern suburbs for $31.4 million.

— Dana Bartholomew

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