Huntley Outlet Center up for sale
A top Huntley village official confirmed Thursday the 21-year-old Huntley Outlet Center that has been struggling for years is up for sale.
The 279,000-square-foot center, which is more than 50 percent vacant, has been listed online with Chicago broker Cushman & Wakefield, Village Manager Dave Johnson said.
A village consultant already has been evaluating potential reuse and redevelopment options for the property comprising roughly 76 acres along Route 47 just north of Interstate 90.
"In anticipation of maximizing the property for its highest and best use, we've been looking at alternatives whether it's continuing to utilize the existing facility ... what we've tried to do is anticipate what some potential land uses would be down there," Johnson said. In the end, ultimately the numbers need to work out. From a financial standpoint, it needs to make sense for any future owner."
Real estate research and consulting firm, Gruen Gruen and Associates, is considering the cost of redeveloping the site, if it continues as retail, or is converted to light industrial, business park, hotel, and restaurant uses. That report should be completed before year end, Johnson said.
The mall's corporate owner, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., which also owns Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora and Gurnee Mills, would not divulge any details about potentially selling the property.
"It is our long-standing corporate policy not to comment on potential sales or acquisitions so there is nothing to say except we are focused on managing and leasing Huntley Premium Outlets, as we always have been," said Les Morris, national spokesman for Simon.
Simon Property Group acquired the Huntley property years ago. Officials would not comment on vacancy rates.
"Huntley Outlet Center is a wonderful shopping center that has served the community for many years in a number of different ways, offering a nice selection of stores for shoppers to choose from," said Phil Whitsel, area manager for Chicago Premium Outlets, who oversees the Huntley Outlet Center. "Over the years, the lack of easy interstate access and other location-specific factors have presented challenges in attracting national retailers."
Three new businesses have opened at the outlet mall this summer -- Fu Shan Buns Chinese Restaurant in the food court, Gusto's Fun House novelty store, and Darna Furniture.
"It is our hope that these two exciting additions (Gusto's and Darna) will be kick-starters to reinvigorating the center," Whitsel said.
The mall's sales tax receipts have declined considerably over the years. In 2003, the mall generated more than $300,000 total in sales tax receipts, of which 50 percent goes to the village because the property lies within a special tax increment financing (TIF) district. Within 10 years, that number has dipped to roughly $100,000, village officials have said.
Village officials would like to see the mall successful and are cognizant of its prime location off a new $61 million full-access tollway interchange.
"Certainly, from the village's standpoint, it's an important part of the community," Johnson said. "It's at the doorstep of Huntley. We'd like to see it come to life a little bit more than what we see there today. We don't have any control. We are looking to be a good partner in whatever way that may be to make improvements ultimately to that site."