Elgin Mall has a new home in East Dundee

Village trustees voted, 4-1, to grant needed zoning requests

Members of the East Dundee planning, zoning and historic commission recommended approval for a special-use permit and zoning that would allow the Elgin Mall to move into a shuttered Dominick's store in East Dundee. East Dundee Village President Jeff Lynam, however, says the proposal would not enhance the village's appeal.

East Dundee trustees on Monday gave Elgin Mall vendors the news they had hoped for since July – they will have a new home.

Trustees voted, 4-1, approving a zoning change and special use permit to allow the mall to move into a shuttered Dominick’s store at the River Valley Square shopping center off Dundee Avenue. Trustee Rich Treiber voted against the zoning change and special use permit.

“We’re very excited to come to a new place where we’re really going to make it better,” said Rosa Leal, a mall co-owner whose shop, Leal’s La Moda Western, sells traditional Western wear.

The search for a new home began in July, when the Elgin Mall’s former management informed more than 90 vendors that it would be closing by the end of August. Vendors quickly came together, formed a new ownership group and worked with the building owner to extend their lease in Elgin.

Leal, part of the new Elgin Mall Group, said vendors will be allowed to stay at the Elgin location until the mall moves into its new location in East Dundee. Mall owners anticipate opening in the former Dominick’s store by October.

“It has been a learning experience,” Leal said after Monday’s vote. “It was a little bit stressful at times ... but now that we’re here and we know that we got accepted, we know that it was all worth the while and the work that we have put into it.”

A formal vendor meeting on Sunday will discuss next steps, Leal said.

A popular weekend destination, the Elgin Mall attracts shoppers from the Chicago region looking for traditional Mexican clothes, religious items, jewelry, boots, electronics, furniture and other products.

Many of the mall vendors have been in business for more than 20 years and have a loyal following.

Owners of the Elgin Mall Group estimate the mall’s annual revenue at $12.5 million annually, which could mean up to $200,000 in sales tax revenue for the village.

Village officials also noted the mall’s relocation fills a key storefront that has been vacant for more than a decade.

The owners of the East Dundee shopping center said they plan to make $4.5 million in improvements to the interior and exterior of the building to accommodate their new tenants.