Macy's to close at Spring Hill Mall

The Macy's store in West Dundee is the latest anchor to announce its impending departure from Spring Hill Mall, village officials said.

Representatives of the retail company notified the village Tuesday morning that they would close the West Dundee location by mid-February, Village President Chris Nelson said.

The news is disappointing, he said, but not surprising given the challenges facing mid-size regional malls across the country.

Macy's has been shrinking its retail footprint nationwide after announcing plans in 2016 to close about 100 department stores. Company officials recently indicated they would focus on curtailing their presence in "class B" shopping centers - not a good sign for the Dundee-area mall, Nelson said, especially considering its proximity to the "class A" Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

"I think we've been fortunate, and I think it says a lot about our retail market that we've survived (several) cuts," he said. "We expected this, to some extent."

Macy's representatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Macy's is the second department store slated to close next month at Spring Hill Mall. Sears officials announced in November that its West Dundee store would be among 96 Sears and Kmart locations shuttered by the struggling retailer.

Once Macy's and Sears leave, Kohl's will be the only anchor store left at Spring Hill Mall, located in both West Dundee and Carpentersville. Carson's closed its doors in 2018.

The vacant J.C. Penney wing was razed in 2015 and replaced with a Cinemark movie theater, a key component of a roughly $50 million redevelopment project that also included new restaurant space, an exterior plaza and outward-facing retail.

In anticipation of a changing retail landscape, West Dundee has been working the past five years to diversify its economy and "wean ourselves off the sales tax diet," Nelson said. "The financial impact of the closures of Sears and Macy's, while regrettable, is not overly damaging to our bottom line."

Village leaders also are in the early stages of developing a vision for how the mall property could evolve in the next decade or two - and it isn't centered around retail, Nelson said.

West Dundee hired Atlanta-based Sizemore Group in 2018 to create a framework for the area's potential redevelopment. While the mall's retail footprint is expected to continue shrinking, the firm's conceptual designs depict a bustling campus with pedestrian pathways, residential developments, more entertainment options and office buildings, among other uses.

"The era of a four-anchor mall concept with in-line stores is fading," Nelson said. "So what I see for the future is a mixed-use concept."

West Dundee officials plan to work with Carpentersville leaders and mall owner Brookfield Properties to take the next step in bringing those plans to fruition.

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