MATTESON, IL-JCPenney will return to the mall it left seven years ago and be an anchor for the new Promenade at Lincoln Mall power center. The 360,000-sf power center is part of a $115-million redevelopment of Lincoln Mall, at the southeast corner of Lincoln Highway and Cicero Avenue.

JCPenney has purchased a 10.7-acre site and is constructing a new store. The sales price was not disclosed. The mall is owned by Realty America Group, based in Dallas, and is managed by Jones Lang LaSalle Retail. Steve Swanson and Adam Cody, both of Staubach, represented JCPenney in the transaction. Senior vice president Leonard Richards represented Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.

The mall is currently nearly 75% leased, Richards says. The anchors will be Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney, Sears and Target. Other major tenants include Old Navy, Express and Foot Locker. Richards would not disclose asking lease rates for the mall or power center. The 989,000-sf mall opened in 1973 as a joint venture of the four anchors: JCPenney, Wieboldt’s, Montgomery Wards and Carson Pirie Scott, says Leonard Richards, senior vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail. The mall lost some of its shoppers as Orland Square Mall, in Orland Park, and River Oaks Center, in Calumet City, opened.

The two shopping centers “cut off the market to the northeast and northwest for all intents and purposes,” Richards says. Wieboldt’s closed and was vacant for a few years before Sears opened in 1992 and, about six years later, Montgomery Wards closed as well. “In 2000, JCPenney left the mall even though they owned their own site,” he says. Lincoln Mall “languished,” in part, because of investors who purchased the mall in the late 1990′s that did not have sufficient capital, Richards says. Realty America purchased the center in 2003 from Finova, which was the lender for the former owners, Richards says.

JCPenney will open a 104,000-sf store Oct. 4. Construction is wrapping up on a 126,000-sf Target which is scheduled to have a soft opening July 24 and a grand opening on July 29. JCPenney is returning to the mall because “it is a great location [and] it is a market that is growing very fast,” Richards says. “Between 2000 and 2005, new homes were built, sold and settled at a rate of 1,700 per year.” Part of the mall, including the locations of the old JCPenney and Montgomery Ward, has been torn down to make room for the new power center. About 12 acres around the mall has also been acquired for part of the development, Richards says. The Promenade at Lincoln Mall will have apparel, shoes and furniture retailers. In addition, there will be four outlots with the average size of the outlots being 5,250 sf. Two new food offerings and two financial institutions area expected to be tenants of the out-parcels and should open either late this year to the early second quarter of next year.

The area is also now part of a $45-million tax incrementing financing district, Richards says. A multi-screen movie theater is planned in the second phase of the redevelopment. The second phase, which will focus on Lincoln Mall, while begin once the power center is completed.

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