Mall Makeovers, For Better or Worse

<em>Chicago Tribune</em> architecture critic Blair Kamin reviews a few mall retrofits and finds that breathing life back into a dead mall can be a challenge.
June 25, 2010, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

The revision of the enclosed mall at One Schaumburg Place has proven to be an urban success. But others haven't worked so well.

"While the makeover is a garish architectural cartoon, Disneyland-on-the-Prairie, it is an urban design success, a gathering place that is still popular - and appears profitable - 10 years after it was finished. When the owners, Chicago developers Joseph Freed & Associates, announced in May that they were selling the Streets of Woodfield, they issued a statement saying the mall is 98 percent leased over the long-term. The mall even expanded recently by adding a Crate & Barrel and a Whole Foods Market.

Nevertheless, retrofits are by no means sure to attain smashing commercial success, as revealed by the saga of Park Forest's downtown mall."

Share Tweet LinkedIn Email