Former Lombard department store gets a makeover as malls continue reinvention process

Like many American malls of its day, the 54-year-old Yorktown Mall in Lombard has had its share of difficulties, given the rise of e-commerce followed by a crippling pandemic that forced it to pay down mortgage debt l ‘last year.

Now new plans are underway to turn a former flagship department store – Carson Pirie Scott, which enjoyed a 50-year run in space before closing in 2018 – into a mixed-use project featuring luxury multi-family buildings , a 3-acre park and new dining and retail offerings.

Courtesy of Pacific Retail Capital Partners

A rendering of the former Carson Pirie Scott site redesigned at Lombard’s Yorktown Mall.

Retail developer Pacific Retail Capital Partners and Synergy Construction announced on Tuesday that they have acquired a 12-acre property, including the former Carson store at 230 Yorktown Center, with plans to redevelop it for a new era of retail at detail. No price has yet been recorded, according to DuPage County records, although the property was last appraised at just over $2 million.

“As department store buildings across the country become obsolete, communities are looking to companies like Synergy and Pacific Retail for the next shopping center vision,” Synergy Construction Director Phil Domenico said in a statement. , adding that the joint venture was set to “present a truly transformative mixed-use project that will become a model for other malls across the country.”

Pacific Retail, which has led similar mall redevelopments in San Jose, Calif., and elsewhere, plans to begin construction in the spring of 2023 with Phase 1 estimated completion in the spring of 2025.

Phase 1 includes the demolition of the old Carson building, the construction of a multi-family building, the creation of the park which will be a common outdoor space and construction modifications to the mall which will connect to the residential units.

When it opened in 1968, Yorktown Center was the largest shopping center in the United States. In recent years, however, it has battled the same tides against other malls, struggling to collect rents from tenants who abandoned stores in 2020.

The property overcame its debt issues and was able to turn profitable, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, citing data from Bloomberg. Mall revenue in 2021 was $17.8 million, down 20% from 2019, although the property’s net cash flow of $8.7 million before debt more than covered its $3.4 million in debt payments last year.

Pacific Retail, which has owned the property since 2012 in partnership with KKR & Co. and Clifton Realty Management, said it was able to systematically rebalance the asset by renovating the mall’s interior, implementing rental improvements targeted and adding a residential community to the center of Yorktown. , including part of the center which was rezoned residential and sold in 2018 to develop more than 500 units.

The latest development marks the next step in Pacific Retail’s vision to redefine the mall.

“We viewed the closure of Carson’s as a unique opportunity for further redevelopment of the property as it provides ample space for creative reimagining,” Pacific Retail CEO Steve Plenge said in the statement. “We are in the business of shopping center transformation. We believe we can add a dynamic mix of uses to create further densification to a site where people will want to live, shop, dine and entertain.”