New plan for Stratford Square area expected to be unveiled in March
Bloomingdale officials will take the next steps in the future of Stratford Square Mall in March, when they expect to hear from their consulting firm.
The village held a public hearing on Jan. 17 to discuss the proposed Stratford Mall area tax increment financing district, designed to help spur redevelopment of the mall and its nearby properties. One resident and two local business owners attended, village officials said.
Plans for the new TIF district will be reviewed Feb. 14, and officials expect approval to be given in March.
"This economic tool will be critical to have to ensure the village can move forward with the Stratford Vision Plan being developed by Teska Associates," said Village Administrator Peter Scalera earlier this month.
A TIF district freezes the property taxes on property being redeveloped, and any new taxes stemming from the property improvements within the TIF boundaries become part of a fund that helps support the redevelopment.
Meanwhile, plans with Teska Associates Inc. have begun to take shape as well, Scalera said.
The village hired Evanston-based Teska Associates Inc. last May to develop ideas for revitalizing the property after realizing that the mall was not going to survive in its current state.
The 1980s-era indoor mall at the Gary Avenue and Schick Road went from 110 stores to 40 in the past two years. It has lost four anchor stores within the last seven years, including a Sears and Macy's.
Scalera said Teska, the Evanston-based consulting firm, will unveil a plan for the mall and its surrounding area in March as well.
Scalera said that Teska officials have spoken with Stratford Square owners Namdar Realty Group about what is possible in the area.
"We're hoping that Namdar realize the plan is a good plan and want to work with us to implement it," Scalera said.
Bloomingdale is working in tandem with Teska on the vision plan for Stratford, which is expected to include retail shops and residential development.
Scalera said a website will be created to provide information and updates, and solicit feedback.