What to Know

  • Ford City Mall has been in the hands of a lender since 2013, when billionaire Sam Zell gave up the property

  • The mall has lost several key tenants, including Sears and Carson‘s, and only has J.C. Penney left as an anchor

  • $40 million in investments have been poured into the property recently, according to 18th Ward Alderman Derrick Curtis

It was announced this week that Ford City Mall, one of the first regional malls in Chicago, is hitting the market, but no one knows for certain what’s in store for the venerable shopping outlet.

The mall, which first opened in 1965, has lost several anchor stores, including Sears and Carson’s, and only J.C. Penney’s remains at the property, located near Chicago’s Midway Airport.

Customers who shop at the mall expressed pessimism about the facility’s future, saying that they are disappointed with the lack of shopping options still available.

“It’s dry! Some things you just grow out of,” one customer said.

18th Ward Alderman Derrick Curtis has a different view, pointing to new investment in the property and the addition of an H&M location. He believes that these changes and investments could point toward a successful future for the property with a new buyer.

“They’ve put about $40 million into the site, and they’ve brought in new stores,” he said. “I think it’s heading toward a successful future for the right buyer.”

The mall changed hands five years ago, after billionaire Sam Zell gave up the property and handed it over to New York-based lending group iStar Financial.

Now, the mall will be hitting the market, and Alderman Curtis believes that there is still hope for the property.

“The community is what’s going to make Ford City thrive,” he said.

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