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posted: 4/5/2014 8:00 AM

W. Dundee hires lobbyist to find state money for mall rehab

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  • West Dundee has hired a lobbyist to secure state funds for a renovation project at Spring Hill Mall.

       West Dundee has hired a lobbyist to secure state funds for a renovation project at Spring Hill Mall.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
 

West Dundee has hired a lobbyist who ran the then-senate campaign for President Barack Obama to see what role, if any, the state can play in funding a possible renovation and revitalization project at Spring Hill Mall.

The village this week approved a three-month contract with Chicago-based Dan Shomon Inc. Shomon's consulting services will cost no more than $7,500.

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"Dan has been brought aboard to help us work with the state in service of a plan to renovate Spring Hill Mall," Village President Chris Nelson said. "Spring Hill Mall is such a critical piece to our economy. It makes sense to direct a lot of energy and resources to ensure it remains viable and improves."

Nelson declined to discuss the scope of the potential project.

Amy Prew, the mall's general manager, forwarded all questions to Rouse Properties' corporate office, which did not respond to requests for comment.

Shomon also did not return calls for comment.

West Dundee has partnered with Rouse Properties to encourage and support the potential project at the 33-year-old mall, according to documents from village management to the board.

Nelson also talked to local legislators to see how they and the state can help finance the project, documents said.

During a meeting Nelson had with Shomon at the mall, Shomon pointed out several options that could come up later this year for roadway improvements around the mall through a capital bill that has not yet been approved, the documents said.

Shomon has more than 25 years of experience in government relations, international business development, public relations, government management, political campaign management and more, according to his website.

Officials in Elgin, Carpentersville and Lakewood have also sung Shomon's praises, saying he knows how to navigate Springfield and is highly connected, documents said.

Spring Hill Mall has had increased competition in recent years from Algonquin Commons and the Arboretum in South Barrington.

The mall's last major renovation took place in 2005 and cost $7.5 million.

The mall's next renovation is one of the village's top priorities, Nelson said.

"It's the economic part of the community -- it has a million square feet of retail space within it and it is still an excellent mall," Nelson said.

"But we want to make sure it remains viable and grows in strength in the coming years."

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