EP seeking a decision from Carson’s

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Village wants to plan ahead for Plaza demolition

  The future of Carson’s, the longtime anchor of the recently shuttered Plaza, is all that stands between the mall and the wrecking ball.

  Evergreen Park trustees at Monday’s village board meeting authorized village attorney Vince Cainkar to negotiate with the retailer so that demolition of the mall, 95th Street and Western Avenue, can proceed.
  “They are the only ones there,” Mayor James Sexton said. “The rest of the tenants are gone with the exception of Carson’s.”
  The mall closed on May 31. Applebee’s, which is located on an out lot, and Planet Fitness, remain open.
  DeBartolo Development wants to demolish the mall and replace it with a “lifestyle center,” Chicago Real Estate reported. The development firm is owned by former San Francisco 49ers’ owner Eddie DeBartolo.
  Carson’s could either decide to lease at the new mall or let DeBartolo purchase their property, located at the south end of the mall, Sexton said.
  “One way or the other, the mall is going down,” Sexton said.
  The 61-year-old shopping mall, formerly the Evergreen Plaza, has been in foreclosure since 2011. The property is currently in receivership.
  The village board authorized Cainkar to enter negotiations with Carson’s to expedite the process, Sexton said.
  “We hope to be wrapping it up by the end of the year,” Sexton said. “We are going to do what we can.”
  He said DeBartolo is serious about redeveloping the mall and is the only developer interested in the property.
  Sexton said Carson’s likely wants to be part of the new mall.
  “I think they want to stay. We would love them to stay, but the economics has to be right,” the mayor said.
  The mall was conceived by developer Arthur Rubloff in the 1936 and opened in August 1952 as an open-air shopping center. Carson’s anchored the mall along with the Fair Store, Lytton’s and Walgreens. The mall also featured a Jewel supermarket. The entire mall was enclosed in 1966.