After spending years on life support, North Riverside Park Mall is set to get a breath of fresh air.
The 1.4 million-square-foot property’s landlord, New York-based Feil Organization, announced an infusion of $8 million for renovations to the suburban Chicago mall. The plans come after the owner successfully evaded foreclosure of a $75 million debt that became the source of a lawsuit in the early months of the pandemic.
After refinancing in 2014, Feil was hit by its lender with the foreclosure lawsuit in mid-2020. The loan was originally set to mature in 2019, but Feil scored an extension of the debt maturity with the loan servicer, pushing out its due date to October 2024.
The firm hasn’t yet secured a new loan to clear the previous debt, as the $8 million of funding for the renovations is coming from another source, a spokesperson for Feil confirmed.
A joint venture involving Feil that owns a Magnificent Mile retail and office building at 645 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago recently scored a $55 million new loan to replace a previous, larger debt for that property.
Last year, Feil bought the former Carson’s store adjacent to North Riverside Mall with plans to redevelop it. The firm’s aims are an example of landlords and local governments alike working to rejuvenate malls by buying their adjacent properties, as department stores are often held by separate owners.
Feil bought the North Riverside mall in 2004. Like many regional shopping properties across the U.S, it fell on hard times in recent years as multiple anchor tenants went under.
One, Bon-Ton Stores, filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and liquidated 256 stores including its North Riverside location. Carson’s also closed its 180,000-square-foot department store at the mall in 2018. Feil worked for years to buy that parcel, which was separately owned, and closed on a purchase of it early last year with plans to redevelop it. Sears also vacated its store at North Riverside Mall in 2020.
In suburban Bloomingdale, the village government recently closed on a purchase of a portion of Stratford Square Mall that had been owned by Namdar Realty Group to control the property’s eventual redevelopment. Officials in suburban West Dundee are making similar moves to reposition the Spring Hill Mall.
The North Riverside mall facelift will include new flooring, ceilings and a new entrance. According to Feil, the work began in January and will be complete in October.
“This renovation represents a commitment to our community and our retailers, marking the beginning of a new era that better represents who we serve,” Glenn Lindholm, North Riverside Park’s general manager, said in a statement.
JP2 Architects and AECom Hunt Construction Group are leading Feil’s North Riverside project.