‘A new rebirth’: Bloomingdale moves to complete acquisition of Stratford Square Mall

Bloomingdale village officials have agreed to resolve a condemnation lawsuit against the owner of Stratford Square Mall and sign a deal to buy the remainder of the struggling shopping center.

Trustees on Monday unanimously approved a resolution to settle the lawsuit against mall owner Namdar Realty Group. The village will pay $8.75 million. It expects to close the deal next week.

“I think relative to the amount of land that we have acquired and the cost, it is an amazing start to a new rebirth at Stratford Square Mall,” Village President Franco Coladipietro said before the vote.

Village leaders have been working for more than two years to acquire the nearly deserted mall at Gary Avenue and Schick Road, Coladipietro said.

Initially, Bloomingdale tried to partner with Namdar, the New York-based commercial real estate firm that owns the interior portion of the mall and the former JCPenney box. Namdar acquired the core mall property in October 2019.

But when repeated efforts to work with Namdar were unsuccessful, Bloomingdale officials decided to take the lead on a proposed redevelopment of the sprawling site.

The village has spent millions of dollars to purchase former department store buildings and open space near Stratford Square.

To date, the village has acquired the former Carson's, Burlington and Sears parcels along with the strip of land commonly referred to as the "canoe" property along Springfield Drive.

Most recently, the village closed on the purchase of the Sears property for $2.8 million in September.

The lawsuit was the village’s attempt to use the power of eminent domain to take over the core of the 1980s-era mall. Officials called it an "act of last resort.“

The village also filed a condemnation lawsuit targeting Kohl's ‒ the mall's last anchor store. However, Bloomingdale officials on Monday talked about a proposed agreement with Kohl’s that would keep the store as part of any redevelopment.

Bloomingdale leaders have envisioned a re-imagined Stratford Square with a green community gathering area surrounded by restaurants and entertainment or recreational offerings.

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