As with many malls across the country, the number of anchor stores and occupied stores at the River Oaks Center in Calumet City has declined in recent years.
As a result, the city’s mayor has proposed transforming the mall into a multifunctional entertainment district that he believes could raise more than $ 500 million.
“Imagine a future mall of the future where you have homes and condos,” said Jones. “We want to turn this into a fun neighborhood where everyone comes to Calumet City for two or three days instead of coming here for two or three hours.”
The mayor said there could even be a casino in the entertainment district.
But there is a hurdle that stands in the way of the proposal moving forward.
Calumet City owns the building that once housed Sears, but not on the other side of the River Oaks Center. Jones wouldn’t elaborate on how the city would take over the rest of the mall if it wasn’t for sale, but said there are several legal options.
“We want to work [with] they make some kind of agreement that we can take over this mall, “he said.
The mall’s owners, Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group, said their teams had a productive meeting with Jones on Friday and scheduled a follow-up meeting to continue the discussion.
The full joint statement from the companies is set out below:
“Today the Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group leasing and management teams had a productive meeting with Mayor Thaddeus Jones about the future of the River Oaks Center. We have already scheduled a follow-up meeting to continue the discussion and look forward to providing the community with further insights when there is news to share.
In the meantime, we continue to be committed to the future of the River Oaks Center. Our leasing and management teams have signed over a dozen new contracts on the property so far this year, in addition to the extensions, moves, and expansions they have secured with existing tenants. We are also taking steps to make any necessary upgrades to the mall to ensure that it provides a graceful shopping experience for guests. “