The old Carson’s department store at Yorktown Center is slated for demolition to make way for a new mall entrance and Main Street-style plaza as part of a larger redevelopment plan that would put hundreds of new apartments next to the shopping center.
Developers have not yet applied for a village demolition permit for the vacant anchor store building, but Lombard trustees have unanimously approved zoning changes for the estimated $200 million residential project. Village officials also are working on the final language of an economic incentive agreement under which the developers could receive tax increment financing and sales tax dollars.
Pacific Retail Capital Partners, the owner of the core mall property, is teaming up with Chicago-based Synergy Construction Group to bring new life to one of the first enclosed shopping malls built in the area. Yorktown Center opened its doors in 1968, predating the still-mighty Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.
Other suburban malls from Vernon Hills to Aurora are converting large swaths of retail space into high-end housing to bring back customers who went online.
A townhouse community is under construction along Yorktown’s ring road. In recent years, the Elan and Overture apartment buildings added a combined 470 units around the mall.
Continuing that trend, the latest plan involves building a five-story apartment complex called Yorktown Reserve on a mall parking lot east of Highland Avenue and Yorktown’s Majestic Drive entrance. Two residential buildings would be developed in phases with a total of 621 units.
If all goes as expected, the first apartment building could be under construction in 2024-25, according to a timeline presented to Lombard trustees earlier this month.
“Phase two itself, that would be a function of the market condition later in the process,” Lombard Community Development Director William Heniff told the board.
The development team intends to create a park-like plaza in place of Carson’s, which has sat vacant since 2018, to link the apartments with the mall.
After the three-level store is demolished, Pacific Retail wants to make the solid mall facade more outward-facing and accessible for future customers. Tenant spaces around the plaza would get glass storefronts.
“When we talk about the value of this, we see this as a catalyst for future activity, commercial development, whether it’s grocery, convenience, retail, entertainment activities, restaurant opportunities,” Heniff said.
Village officials have discussed “performance-based” incentives for the project. If they meet certain parameters, developers potentially could be eligible for up to $12.1 million in tax increment financing for the phase one apartment building, $9.6 million in TIF for the phase two apartment building and a multimillion-dollar business improvement district incentive for the plaza and the adjacent exterior upgrades.
“There’s no money upfront. It’s really the construction has to occur, the demolition has to occur, and property taxes need to be generated in order for there to be reimbursements,” Heniff said. “And it’s also on a pay-as-you-go basis.”
Officials expect the proposed incentive agreement will be on the July 20 village board agenda.