Huntley outlet mall demolition to begin in April

The defunct Huntley Outlet Center soon will be demolished after the village sued the owners to force them to fix code violations or raze the structure.

Huntley Village Manager Dave Johnson said officials took legal action to address life safety concerns with the 279,000-square-foot mall, which shuttered last spring after operating more than 22 years.

The nearly 77-acre mall property at Interstate 90 and Route 47 was purchased in April 2016 by Huntley Investment Partners LLC - which includes Elgin's Capital Companies LLC, Chicago-based The Prime Group, which built the center in 1994, and Craig Realty Group, a California-based development and management firm of upscale factory outlet centers in 12 states.

"Though not occupied, the buildings weren't secure. They didn't know who was going in and out of those buildings," Johnson said.

A burst pipe in January caused damage to the property.

"They needed to make a decision at that point whether they were going to fix the pipe, whether the fire suppression system is working," Johnson said. "It appeared as if the mall itself was not going to be reused."

Huntley filed a lawsuit against the owners Feb. 14 to address fire and life safety code violations. The court found continued noncompliance at the property is creating a danger to the public, officials said.

The village and property owners entered into a settlement agreement approved by the village board earlier this month to demolish the buildings and a demolition permit was issued last week. Demolition work will begin by April 16 and be completed by June 15, per the court order.

Owners are seeking to rezone the property for office, research and industrial use and are soliciting national real estate firms to help market it.

"Hopefully, we will see some activity here soon," Johnson said. "They do have a development application on file that we will pick back up again ... we would anticipate within the next month. It is a highly visible property that we believe will have some redevelopment opportunities."

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