Macy’s leases Carson’s store in Evergreen Plaza mall in Evergreen Park

On the first floor, the retailer will open a Market by Macy’s, the first Chicago-area location for the spin-off concept. A Macy’s Backstage, an off-price chain launched in 2015, will open on the second floor.

So far, Macy’s has only opened about five Market by Macy’s stores, in Texas and Atlanta. The stores, which range from 20,000 square feet to 58,000 square feet, primarily sell clothing and frequently update their inventory. Backstage stores generally operate in existing Macy’s department stores, including eight in the Chicago area, including one that recently opened in the Macy’s on State Street in the Loop.

A Macy’s spokeswoman did not confirm the company’s plans for Evergreen Plaza.

“We have no information to share at this time, but we will continue to update you,” she wrote in an email.

Representatives for Lormax Stern and Fortress did not return phone calls.

Evergreen Plaza has a long history that traces the rise and fall of the mall and its reliance on the department store. When it opened in 1952, it was the country’s first regional mall. It became the second-largest indoor mall in the United States after a renovation in the 1960s.

But it fell on hard times in the 1980s and was largely vacant in 2013. Lormax Stern demolished the old mall in 2015 and replaced it with the smaller mall that exists today. Tenants of the 255,000 square foot property include Whole Foods Market, Burlington, TJ Maxx, Planet Fitness and Ulta Beauty.

Carson’s at Evergreen Plaza has closed twice, first in 2018 when the Carson’s chain went bankrupt. But a renovated store opened later that year under new ownership to close again in 2020.

Lormax Stern and Fortress sold the rest of Evergreen Plaza for $67 million last fall to LBX Investments, a California investment firm. But they kept the Carson’s property empty.

A team led by CBRE’s Joe Parrott represented the landlords in the lease, while a team led by CBRE’s Luke Molloy represented Macy’s.