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Yet Another Large Suburban Shopping Center Bites the Dust

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It's been a sadly common story for malls nationwide, which have struggled to adapt to a changing landscape after their mid-century boom. Matteson's Lincoln Mall, befalling the fate of similar retail centers across the region, will close after the holiday season, according to Crain's, leaving the 40 businesses employing nearly 200 people looking for new jobs in the new year. The anchor Carson Pirie Scott store will remain open.

The 700,000 square foot complex, which hasn't been filled near capacity for years, was ordered closed by Cook County Judge Thomas Condon because its not generating enough rent to pay for the upkeep and fix building code violations. A statement from the village said the mall will close January 7. The Village of Matteson had brought a lawsuit to force owner Michael Kohan, a New York real estate developer who purchased the property in a foreclosure sale in 2012, to pay for maintaining the structure. Kohan's attorneys have responded that they have paid $150,000 to a court-ordered receiver, Chicago's Collateral Trust, for repairs, that they are all tapped out, and that it's the responsibility of the receiver.

The village of Matteson also claims Kohan owes $10 million in back taxes. According to the Tribune, Kohan, who also goes under the name Mehran Kohansieh, has been involved in a string of not-so-successful attempts to resurrect and restore similarly distressed shopping centers.

Considering the recent news, its early to speculate about the future of the Lincoln Mall site, and whether it can be turned around by an infusion of new cash or reborn via one of the creative reuse concepts tried at other mall sites across the country.
Patrick Sisson
·Judge orders struggling Lincoln Mall to close [Crain's]
·'I take distressed properties and try to revitalize them' [Tribune]