Lifestyle change for Randhurst?

Goodbye, Randhurst Mall. Hello, Randhurst Village?

Casto Lifestyle Properties, based in Sarasota, Fla., confirmed Tuesday it is working on a deal to partner with Randhurst's owner, JPMorgan Chase & Co., to redevelop the mall, built in 1962, into a lifestyle center.

The proposed mixed-use center -- dubbed Randhurst Village on Casto's Web site -- will have apartments and a hotel above the new retail buildings.

The 16-screen AMC theater will be replaced by a new 18-screen AMC cinema that will anchor the lifestyle part of the center.

According to the Web site, the mall's two-level core will be demolished and the existing basement converted into parking for non-retail uses.

The surrounding anchor stores, including Carson Pirie Scott and Steve & Barry's, will be left untouched and remain in operation during demolition and construction.

The first regional mall in the Chicago area, Randhurst has seen its core decline even as its outlots -- which boast stores like Borders and Home Depot -- are thriving.

In recent years, the mall has lost J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward and Kohl's, but has staged a comeback with the arrival of Steve & Barry's, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Costco, while Carson Pirie Scott remains vital.

"Randhurst clearly needs to be developed. It's obsolete and it has been negatively impacted by other developments around it," such as Woodfield and the Deer Park lifestyle center, said Casto's president and chief executive officer, Brett Hutchens.

He said the details of the partnership with JPMorgan Chase are expected to be worked out within the next 30 to 45 days.

Last year, Casto teamed up with JPMorgan Asset Management on a joint venture to acquire, develop and redevelop lifestyle properties. The deal involved JPMorgan buying part ownership in five Florida properties, with the intention of combining forces on future projects.

Hutchens said the plans will need to be reviewed by Mount Prospect's Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as existing Randhurst tenants.

In addition, Hutchens said financial help from the village itself will likely be explored.

Mount Prospect Community Development Director William Cooney said any change to the site is going to require an amendment to the planned unit development agreement.

The planning and zoning commission could see plans as early as October, but Cooney said November is more likely.

As for financial incentives, he said, "We don't know the extent of the need, if any, for financial assistance."

Among the possibilities are tax increment financing, where money from rising property values helps pay for parts of the project.

"It's a project that the village is certainly excited about," Cooney added.

Established in 1995 as part of an Ohio company that dates to the late 1920s, Casto Lifestyle Properties has experience in developing lifestyle centers -- boutique malls often located in affluent suburban areas emphasizing mixed uses in an open-air streetscape setting.

For example, Winter Park Village, in Winter Park, Fla., is a 525,000-square-foot development that contains 350,000 square feet of retail, 115,000 square feet of office and 60,000 square feet of residential space in 58 loft apartment units.

In 1996, Casto purchased Winter Park Mall, described in Casto literature as "a functionally obsolete mall situated on a prime tract of land in a viable market." It was subsequently transformed into a lifestyle center with a Main Street feel.

Randhurst General Manager Tom Castagnoli said, "(Casto) has a great reputation in the business."

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