Construction continues on new businesses in, near Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg's Woodfield Mall has been closed for more than a month due to COVID-19 restrictions, but construction in and around the regional shopping center has been preparing for the area's return as the economic hub of the Northwest suburbs.
While stores, restaurants and entertainment venues within the mall haven't been deemed essential services during the pandemic, the construction work adding to their numbers has.
Early in the year, a Peppa Pig World of Play Indoor Play Center was announced as the replacement for the closed Rainforest Cafe on the lower level near Sears, with a projected opening in the summer.
A groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for mid-March was postponed shortly before the mall closed altogether. But construction hasn't been put on hold. Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said the project is under way and receiving inspections by village staff.
Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly said the departure of the world's second Rainforest Cafe from the 23,000-square-foot space was disappointing, but he considers Peppa Pig World of Play a worthy successor.
"We're excited to have them," he said. "This is a new, exciting development to come in."
Versona -- a women's apparel, jewelry and accessories brand -- has also completed preparation of its new store on the mall's middle level near Macy's during the shutdown. It is the brand's first Illinois location as well as one of its first outside the southeast United States.
Projects surrounding the mall also are making progress, including Perry's Steakhouse & Grille that's been aiming to open an 11,242-square-foot location this summer just across Golf Road and immediately west of the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg. The restaurant also will feature a Bar 79 with a patio.
The upscale, Texas-based restaurant chain marked its 40th anniversary last year and has locations in four states, with Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook the only other one in the Chicago area.
Schaumburg's zoning board last week recommended approval of the village's first recreational marijuana dispensary -- named Sunnyside -- which would occupy the three easternmost tenant spaces of the Woodfield Gatherings outlot development near the northwest corner of the mall's parking lot along Golf Road.
The proposed business would occupy 8,640 square feet of a 11,606-square-foot building it would share with Mod Pizza. The proposal next will go to the village board for consideration of final approval on May 12, after which preparation of the space could start, Fitzgerald said.
None of the proposed business' potential neighbors have objected to its presence, she added.
Representatives of Simon Property Group -- which owns Woodfield Mall -- did not respond to a request for comment Monday.